Saddled with a debt of around Rs 60,000 crore, Air India has been making losses to the tune of Rs 20-25 crore every day.
Even as efforts continue by the government to divest its stake in debt-laden Air India after a failed attempt, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce, on Thursday, said that he would bid for the airline if he was not a minister.
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“If I wasn’t a minister today, I would be bidding for Air India. It has some of the best bilaterals the world over... a well managed and efficient Air India with a lot more good aircraft put in using these bilaterals is nothing short of a gold mine to my mind," said the Union Minister while responding to a query by CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan on proposed disinvestment of the airline at the Davos summit.
Bilaterals are agreements between two nations allowing each other’s airlines to operate services with a fixed number of seats.
Air India is the largest international carrier and the third largest domestic carrier after IndiGo and SpiceJet. As of November 2019, it had a 12.1 percent share in the domestic air passenger traffic. Saddled with debt of around Rs 60,000 crore, the airline has been making losses to the tune of Rs 20-25 crore every day.
Goyal, who also spoke on the proposed disinvestment of BPCL and other companies, added that the government had inherited an economy that was in a bad shape. He said that steps were first taken to put the economy back in shape and if the government had looked at divesting these jewels then, it would not have got great value.
He also said the Indian economy is now well-poised to take off and be one of the world's biggest. "... things have once again started showing an uptrend... economy is well poised to take off from here," Goyal said. According to him, at least four or five companies have said that more than 50 percent of their total workforce would operate out of India in the coming years.
First Published: Jan 24, 2020 10:25 AM IST