Air India will borrow Rs 18,000 crore from the State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda (BoB) to refinance its existing debt over the short term, a report in the Economic Times (ET) said. The borrowing will be in the form of one-year loans and the Tata Group-owned airlines may go for longer loans later.
Tatas decided to continue with the existing borrowing arrangement for another year, though they will eventually make a long-term debt strategy.
Air India crew members are being provided with substandard, ill-fitting and flimsy personal protective equipment (PPE) on special flights being operated during the lockdown, a union of the airline's pilots complained to Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday.
With India under a 21-day lockdown till April 14 to curb the spread of coronavirus, all domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended for this period.
Air India on Wednesday implemented a series of cost-saving measures, including reduction in allowances and fuel reimbursement for officers. However, the move is being resisted by its cabin crew — All India Cabin Crew Association (AICCA) — who have called the move discriminatory and illegal.
Around the world, airlines are responding to COVID-19 crisis with sharp reduction in capacity, pay cuts and layoffs.
The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) and the civil aviation ministry are looking at the possibility of relaxing foreign direct investment norms to attract bidders for national carrier Air India, an official said. The government for long has been trying to sell debt-ridden Air India but could not attract bidders. It has now again decided to call bids for sale next month.
The total debt and liabilities of Air India (AI) have risen to over Rs 45,500 crore at September end, up Rs 5,000 crore from the level seen after the April takeover of its Rs 29,464-crore debt by the Centre through a special purpose vehicle, sources told FE.
The increase over the first half of this fiscal is largely due to short-term loans, an official source said. At the end of last financial year, the state-run airline’s debt had stood around Rs 70,000 crore.
Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) has raised another Rs 7,985 crore through the issue of bonds, and the proceeds will be utilised to repay Air India’s debt. This the third fund-raising in little over a month by the entity.
A special purpose vehicle of Air India, AIAHL has mopped up a total of Rs 21,985 crore by way of bond issues since September 16.
Raising funds for the third time in little over a month, Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) on Thursday raised Rs 7,985 crore through bond sale, which was oversubscribed. A special purpose vehicle of Air India, AIAHL has mopped up a total of Rs 21,985 crore by way of bond issues since September 16 and the proceeds would be utilised to repay debt of the national carrier.
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