The government is taking a number of measures to cut losses of Air India. According to officials, the government plans to soon initiate the strategic sale process for at least four subsidiaries of loss-making Air India, including Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL) and Hotel Corporation of India (HCI). Besides, plans are on the anvil for selling the headquarter building of Air India in the national capital as well as various other land assets and buildings of the airline in different parts of the country.
The government has prepared a list of the airline’s assets that could be hived off as part of the strategic sale plan for Air India and its subsidiaries, officials said. According to them, the disinvestment process is likely to be initiated soon for four Air India subsidiaries — AASL, HCI, Air India Air Transport Service Ltd (AIATSL) and Air India Engineering Service Ltd (AIESL). Apart from the headquarters building, other assets proposed to be sold include Air India properties in Mumbai and Delhi. Air India, which has been in the red for long, had a debt burden of Rs 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017. In June, a ministerial panel chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley deferred the strategic sale of the government’s 76 per cent stake in Air India. Instead, it was decided that the government would look at the sale of assets and subsidiaries of the national carrier to reduce the debt burden.