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Air India Director puts an end to ‘shutdown rumours’

In a letter addressed to its travel partners, the Air India management said they are taking all necessary measures to stabilise the financial condition
New Delhi: Putting an end to speculations over an imminent shutdown, Air India commercial director Meenakshi Malik said in a letter on Monday that these rumours were “baseless without an iota of truth.” The letter addressed to its travel partners said the debt-ridden carrier is taking all necessary measures to stabilise its financial condition and such rumours should not be believed.

‘Air India financial condition being appropriately dealt with’

“There have been rumours going around in travel markets that Air India may be closing down its operations. I wish to take this opportunity to clarify that these rumours are baseless and without an iota of truth. Air India’s financial and operational condition is being appropriately dealt with without compromising on our service levels,” Malik wrote.

Neck-deep in trouble

The total debt on the national carrier, as on March 31, stands at Rs 58,282.02 crore. The government has hived off debt amounting to Rs 29,464 crores via a special purpose vehicle (SPV). The government is likely to review the debt allocation between the state-run airline and SPV closer to disinvestment.

Clear dues for ticket

A number of government agencies owe over Rs 10 lakh each to Air India. And in order to address the issue, the debt-ridden national carrier had recently decided to not issue tickets to the government agencies that owe more than Rs 10 lakh unless they pay upfront. Air India had drawn up a list of officials and the dues owed by them. A number of these officials were from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Intelligence Bureau to the Indian Audit Board, the Central Labour Institute, the Controller of Defence Accounts, the Border Security Force (BSF) and customs commissioners.