Air India, the international airline of India, has been in dire financial straits for a long while now. Earlier attempts to divest more than 75% of its shares in the company by encouraging sale to foreign entities have resulted in failure after the government took an unyielding stance on terms of the sale. Now, with operations to run and staff who still have not received salaries for the month of May 2018, mid-way through June, Air India has turned to the government for an infusion of funds to help it remain in business. Additionally, the airline has also sought assistance from banks, to the tune of 1,000 crore rupees, to be borrowed as working capital.
While an earlier comment from a spokesperson from Air India levelled blame at government sluggishness that has led to the delay in financial assistance, there was also an admission of hope indicating that staff salaries were expected to be paid by today, the 15th of June, 2018. Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Aviation, said that the government was in the process of putting together plans for the infusion of equity into the airline, adding that “We are definitely going to provide Air India with necessary liquidity and financial resources so that there is a successful turnaround and the airline continues to provide world-class services to its passengers and that staff of the airline are paid on time.”
Speaking at an event of the Air India Engineering Services Ltd., Sinha said that the potential delay in plans to provide the national carrier with financial support were halted as focus was put into the sale of its stake in the company. He went on to assure the public that while measures were being taken to assist in ongoing operations of Air India, simultaneous analysis of what went wrong in the earlier botched sale attempt would continue, with a view towards addressing the failure and proposing a new plan for the same.