New Delhi: Government owes around Rs 600crore to Air India for using its aircraft for travel of VVIPs. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has taken up the issue with various ministries regarding the pending amount related to the services of Air India aircraft availed for such VVIP travel.
According to official sources, Ministries of Home Affairs and External Affairs, among others, have accrued "Rs 500-600 crore" dues till March 31. "These are dues to be paid to Air India for using aircraft for travel of VVIPs," a source said. Air India is surviving on a bailout package approved in 2012.
The erstwhile UPA dispensation had in April 2012 approved Air India's turnaround plan, with a committed public funding of Rs 30,231 crore, staggered over a period of nine years, with some specific riders. Besides a debt of Rs 40,000 crore, the airline had reported losses to the tune of Rs 5,388 crore in FY-14 as against Rs 5,490 in the fiscal 2012-13.
After a streak of losses, Air India had reported a net profit of Rs 14.6 crore in December last year, from a loss of Rs 168.7 crore in the corresponding period of 2013. The airline in its budget estimates for this fiscal, presented late last month, has forecast that it would become operationally profitable by March next year, much ahead of the TAP projections.