By Team ADU
New Delhi. 29 February,2016. In a series of comprehensive restructuring plans to retrieve Air India from the financial mess it has been in, the Union Budget 2016-17, been allocated Rs 1,713 crore as part of the Rs 30,0231 crore financial bailout package.
The total outlay for the Civil Aviation Ministry stands at Rs 4,417 crore for the fiscal 2016-17. Under the Turnaround Plan (TAP), which runs till March 2021, the national carrier has already received Rs 22,280 crore including Rs 3,300 crore in the on going fiscal.
As a part of a low cost airport plan, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced to develop 160 non-functional airports across the country. “In civil aviation, 160 non-functional airports to be developed at a cost of Rs 50-100 crore each and 10 of 25 defunct airstrips to be developed in partnership with state government,” he informed.
The airline’s debt burden stands at approximately Rs 51,367.07 crore, including Rs 22,574.09 crore outstanding on account of aircraft loans, in the previous financial year. A CAG report stated that Air India is solely responsible for putting the national carrier in debt with its purchase of 111 airplanes that has resulted in a whopping debt of Rs. 38, 423 crore.
With low cost airlines led by Indigo keeping the larger slice of business with their competitive fares and no frills, have made Air India loose a lot of its glory, sheen and customers. The national airline also wants to get back its lost status as the ‘Maharaja’ of Indian skies and plans to raise its capacity on domestic routes by using wide-bodied Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes on high-capacity routes.
And as if all this was not sufficient an Air India flight rammed into a light pole at Mumbai airport three days ago . The preliminary probe by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), into the accident that put 447 passengers of AI 191 at risk, shows that the pilotwas inexperienced and it was his second flight as commander.
As much as Air India avoids, it becomes the talk of the country for the wrong reasons.