New Delhi: With the possibility of disinvestment or even outright privatisation of national carrier Air India not being ruled out by the Government, Civil Aviation Ministry Ashok Gajapathi Raju on Tuesday said the (Government thinktank) NITI Aayog has submitted certain recommendations to his ministry for the future course of action for Air India to make it a “strong and viable” airline and that all options are being examined by the Government. Top government sources meanwhile said the fate of Air India would be decided in the next three months by the ministry which will undertake intense deliberations on the NITI Aayog recommendations before deciding a course of action to secure the future of the airline in national interest.
“NITI Aayog has made recommendations for making Air India strong and viable. All courses of action are being examined. We have not closed any option,” Mr. Raju told reporters at a media briefing in the Capital. minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha, who was also present at the briefing held to highlight the achievements in the civil aviation sector in the past three years of the BJP-led NDA government, said, “We are considering all possible alternatives (for Air India)... We are discussing (what can be) the winning strategy for the airline.”
Asked what would be the options on the table, Mr Sinha said that “We can’t disclose now beyond this point.” Sources said the ministry had already begun deliberations with Air India on the NITI Aayog’s recommendations.
However, ministry sources seemed confident that a way would be found to ensure that Air India survives. On CBI investigations into the merger of Air India and the erstwhile Indian Airlines into a unified carrier a decade ago.
AI merger UPA’s collective call, claims Patel
Former civil aviation minister Praful Patel on Tuesday termed as “multi-tiered and collective” the decisions to merge Air India and Indian Airlines, and the order to purchase 111 aircraft by the state-run carriers, a day after the CBI decided to launch investigation into these.
The CBI had on registered three FIRs to probe alleged irregularities in purchase and lease of aircraft by the two airliners....