Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has stated that the Air India transfer will be completed in the next 1 to 1.5 months.
Speaking at the Agenda Aaj Tak event in Delhi on Friday, Scindia conveyed, "Air India transfer will happen in a few weeks to one month, month and a half from now. Shareholders' agreement has been signed."
Scindia added that the government's decision to sell Air India to Tata Sons was a "significant and brave" one.
Defending the government's decision, Scindia said, "It is a win-win arrangement for all, the government, Tata and the public. Air India had a debt of Rs 60,000 crore."
"Now a company has taken over Air India that has sufficient cash reserve. This is good for Air India and the civil aviation sector both," Scindia said.
On Omicron variant
Amid growing concerns regarding the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, Scindia has stated that it is too early for the government to tell whether the country would see further restrictions on air travel in order to deal with the threat of the new variant.
Scindia conveyed, "It is difficult to say whether restrictions [on air travel] will increase or reduce in the days to come."
Scindia explained that the current Omicron situation is fluid and can change as more information regarding the Omicron variant, that was first detected in South Africa, comes out.
On government's response to Omicron
Commenting on India's response to the Omicron threat, Scindia said, "The world is still discussing its status as a variant. We have identified at-risk countries and have taken measures to regulate air travel from these countries".
Scindia explained, "There are 12 airports where travellers from at-risk countries are arriving. On 26 airports, passengers from other countries arrive. We have made arrangements for RT-PCR and rapid tests, and also the arrangement for food for the travellers. We have put in a place a system to handle the situation".
The Civil Aviation minister added that around 5,500 passengers travelled to India from 'at-risk countries on December 1. "We have tested all these passengers," said Scindia.
Scindia explained that on December 1, 35 per cent of passengers coming from these 'at-risk' countries opted for the normal RT-PCR test while 65 per cent opted for Rapid RT-PCR test.
On Arvind Kejriwal's demand
Responding to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's demand that the Centre ban all international flights in light of the emergence of Omicron, Scindia said, "It is a dynamic process. Initially, we have identified at risk countries. We will add and drop countries to the list depending on the COVID-19 situation in those countries."
"We have to address the situation with a graded response system. With more discovery about the variant and information about its spread, we will take the required call," noted Scindia.
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