Air India to raise $1.1 bn for new aircraft, working capital

May 8th, 2012 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, May 8 (IANS) Air India will raise $1.1 billion to fund its new aircraft acquisition programme and meet working capital requirements, the national carrier said Tuesday, on the day it sacked 10 pilots who went on mass sick leave and derecognised their union.

The sum would include $300 million for its subsidiary Air India Charters Ltd, which operates the low-cost Air India Express, and bridge financing of around $500 million for inducting four Boeing 787 Dremliners.

The move follows a green signal by the government last month permitting domestic carriers to raise upto $300 million each from the international markets during the current financial year towards meeting working capital requirements.

The airline has invited offers from banks and financial institutions for the purpose of interim bridge financing for a six to 12 month period for acquire the four Dreamliner aircraft, slated for delivery from next month onwards.

In return for the funds, instead of a sovereign guarantee, the AI intendsto offer the aircraft or some other equivalent collateral as security and the carrier would repay the loan after selling and leasing back the four aircraft, its offer document said.

The airline has also invited offers for raising funds of around $600 million through external commercial borrowings to cater to its working capital needs for a minimum three-year period at floating or fixed interest rates.

The airline earlier Tuesday sacked 10 pilots who went on mass sick leave protesting against the airline providing Boeing 787 training to pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines and derecognised the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG).

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