Air India seeks Rs.10,000-crore bailout

June 23rd, 2009 - 10:45 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 23 (IANS) India’s flag carrier Air India, which is struggling to cope with a cash crunch, will ask for a Rs.10,000-crore (about $2 billion) bailout package from the central government, a senior official said.
Airline officials, who discussed the airline’s financial problems with Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Tuesday night, will meet top government officials again seeking help.

The minister arrived here Tuesday after attending the Paris air show.

“We are looking for at least Rs.10,000 crore bailout package. I am not sure if the government would agree on this,” said the Air India official, who did not want to be named.

Air India earlier said it was looking for a bailout package worth at least Rs.15,000 crore from the government.

Air India chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav, Civil Aviation Secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar and other senior ministry and airline officials had met the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, T.K.A. Nair, Monday with the demands.

But they did not get any assurance from Nair.

Jadhav last week met Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar.

National Aviation Co of India Ltd (NACIL), which owns Air India, had earlier announced that it would delay the salaries of its over 31,000 employees for 15 days. The management has also asked the top executives of the airline to forgo their one month’s salary.

The employees, however, did not accept the management’s decision and said they would go for an indefinite strike from July 1 if the management delays their salaries.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global aviation industry is expected to lose about $9 billion this year.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) says the Indian aviation industry is likely to incur around $2 billion losses this year.

–Indo-Asian news Service

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