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Air India Can’t Get Public Money For Eternity: Civil Aviation Min

Raju further ruled out any disinvestment in the carrier that has a debt of some Rs 50,000 crore.

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Politics
1 min read
File photo of Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister.  (Photo: PTI)

Air India’s “books are so bad” that nobody will buy it even if the government wanted to sell the national carrier, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said on Thursday.

Raju further ruled out any disinvestment in the carrier that has a debt of some Rs 50,000 crore.

Grappling with mounting debts and tough business conditions, Air India has been in the red since the merger of the ertswhile Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007 and is staying afloat on a Rs 30,000-crore bailout package extended by the erstwhile UPA regime.

Asserting that unlike others, he would not like to get into “Air India bashing”, the Minister also said that the carrier needs to function in a more cohesive manner to deliver on its turnaround goals.

Buoyed by improving financial situation and high growth potential of the domestic aviation market, Air India is putting place plans to expand its fleet by another 100 aircraft in the next four years.

My feeling is that the cohesiveness of the team has to increase and where they have worked as a team, they have delivered, and where they have not worked as a team, they have pulled in different sides. The quicker they realize it the better.
Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister

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