State-run Air India hopes to
meet its fund requirements by raising loans against the government
guarantee for Rs 2,500 crore and run its business smoothly till the sale
"We have not decided on further loans from
banks. We have the Government of India (GoI) guarantee for Rs 2,500
crore and if needed, we may raise some loans," said a top Air India
official wishing not to be named.
The airline has been put on the
block by the government as part of its disinvestment target in FY20. A
ministerial panel led by Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to decide the
terms of sale in coming weeks.
As the disinvestment process is
underway, the airline has been directed to freeze all appointments and
hold on promotions. In the wake of the stake sale, fleet expansion is
also on hold.
The airline has, however, expanded its network in
the last few months, connecting more cities locally and internationally
by bringing back its grounded airplanes into operations.
not taken any new plane for adding flights. We are repairing the
grounded aircraft and putting them back into operations. We have not
incurred any major expenditure on it," the official quoted above said.
Shah-led panel had met last week for the first time after their
reconstitution but did not take any decision. Civil Aviation Minister
Hardeep Singh Puri had said after the first meeting that second meeting
will be scheduled shortly to take decisions related to disinvestment.
many issues on the meeting agenda of the first meeting was transferring
more debt, over and above Rs 29,464 crore decided earlier, to Air India
Assets Holdings Ltd (AIAHL) to make the deal attractive for private
The government plan to sell Air India failed last year
as no private party showed any interest in buying a majority 76 per cent
stake on offer. The prospective buyers stayed away from the bidding
finding some of the terms unfavourable.
After failing to find a
bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 government is working this
time on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player.
Air India is currently surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bail-out package cleared by the UPA-II government.