New Delhi: Civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju indicated on Thursday that the government could consider the option of disinvestment in Air India to pull the national carrier out of its financial troubles.
The government owns Air India. When asked whether the option of disinvestment in Air India could be considered, Mr Raju told a TV channel he hopes the government considers the option.
The government can retain control of Air India even if it goes in for disinvestment. But significantly, when asked if the outright privatisation of Air India can also be considered, Mr Raju said he was not in favour of “closing any option”, thereby indicating this option too could be considered.
The civil aviation minister also indicated the financial restructuring and turnaround plan of the airline would not be enough to turn Air India around due to the deep financial “legacy” issues that stemmed from factors such as purchase of scores of planes more than a decade ago as well as the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines around a decade ago.
Mr Raju said many decisions were taken for Air India years ago that were devoid of any economic logic....