The Airport Authority of India and national carrier Air India suffered losses worth INR 7,083.91 crore during FY2020-21 during the Covid-19 pandemic. The information was shared by the Minister of State (MoS) for Civil Aviation Ministry General (Dr.) VK Singh (Retired) in the Rajya Sabha.
Adding further, General Singh informed the house that an assessment for losses owing to the suspension of international flights has not been undertaken yet.
Meanwhile, borrowers from the aviation sector have availed of guarantee support under the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), according to the National Credit Guarantee Trustee Company Limited (NCGTC).
It may be noted that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the extension of ECLGS up to March 2023 in her Budget 2022-23 speech. She also said that the guarantee cover under ECLGS will be increased by INR 50,000 crore to a total cover of INR 5 lakh crore.
Talking of the operations of international flights, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has extended the suspension of scheduled international commercial passenger flights to and from India till February 28. However, these restrictions will not apply to international cargo flights and flights operating under the air bubble arrangement.
Meanwhile, the cash-strapped Air India returned to its founder Tata Group on January 27, almost 69 years after being nationalised. The group won the bid to acquire the airline in October 2021. Tata Sons brokered a deal with the Centre for INR 18,000 crore.
For the Air India sale, Tata Sons were pitted against Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh-led consortium, which placed a bid of INR 15,100 crore. However, after emerging as the winner, Tata Group’s chairman N Chandrasekaran called it a “historic moment” adding that they will strive to develop a world-class airline that makes every Indian proud.
After the deal was completed, Chandrasekaran expressed his happiness saying, “We are excited to have Air India back in the Tata Group and are committed to making this a world-class airline. I warmly welcome all the employees of Air India, to our Group, and look forward to working together.”