Working to make Air India profitable again: Goyal

Piyush Goyal Air India

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The government is making efforts to turnaround Air India and make it profitable again to be able it fetch higher value from its strategic disinvestment, acting Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Wednesday.

Last month, the government said a 76 per cent stake sale process of the national carrier has ended as “no interest” was shown by bidders but it remains committed to the strategic divestment for which other alternatives will be evaluated.

The sale offer failed to attract any bidder by the deadline for submitting preliminary bids on May 31.

“We are taking steps to strengthen Air India’s management practices and operational efficiencies so as to make it profitable again,” Goyal told reporters on the sidelines of a conference here.

Noting that Air India’s problems can be attributed to the acquisition of an expensive fleet and having run up huge debts, the Minister said with the government’s new thrust on turning around the national carrier, there would be visible change in the next 18 months.

“Improvement in the functioning of Air India and its profitability would help us fetch a better value,” he said.

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