Air India May Not Attract Bid In Current Form: Ashok Gajapathi Raju

Air India is a good airline but its finances are bad, making it unattractive to bidders in its current form, says union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju. The government is working on various options and expects to complete divestment of the flag carrier by the end of 2018, Raju tells ET. Edited excerpts:

You have said Air India’s debt is much more than predicted. Can you explain?
The airline has debt and dues to be paid to vendors. The airline owes money to (vendors) like oil marketing companies, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and many more. Now, when you add the dues with debt, total liabilities would be much more. Fact is that the finances of Air India are bad.It is a good airline otherwise. In this existing form, it is highly unlikely that anyone will pick it up. If you try and bid out Air India in the same way as it is today … I do not think it will make economic proposition for anyone. Read More…

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