Government owes Rs 451.75 crore to Air India

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The Central government owes Rs 451.75 crore to Air India for VVIP flights carrying the president, vice president and the prime minister, as well as special missions, according to the latest data provided under the Right To Information Act. As per the information provided in response to the RTI query filed by retired Commodore Lokesh Batra, senior officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry, including Union minister Ashok Gajpathi Raju, had written 31 letters between 2014 and 2017 to various ministries asking them to make timely payments to the national carrier for accruing dues at various points in time. The officials had asked concerned ministries to ensure availability of maintenance funds and make budgetary changes for VVIP flights and other special missions run by the national carrier yet outstandings were never cleared completely, the records provided under the RTI act show. Air India keeps three Boieng 747-400 aircraft for running chartered services for the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister during their visits abroad. It also runs special evacuation mission and provides other special services for foreign dignitaries. Read more

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