As the central government is planning to invite bids for Air India soon, its CMD said on Saturday that expecting a radical improvement in the airline bordering on a turnaround is an impractical thought "in this environment of disinvestment".
In a Facebook post, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said, "Air India needs to survive till it is sold." "I wonder why is it so difficult for this appreciation to sink in and also that in this environment of disinvestment, expecting a radical improvement bordering on a turnaround is an impractical thought. That output can be given sans inputs is a grossly impractical thought," he added.
Air India's net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore. Lohani said: "Air Indians are indeed putting in their best even at this critical juncture and that is very very appreciable."
On Dec 5, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had told Parliament that the preparation of Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) for inviting Expression of Interest (EoI) for Air India disinvestment is in process.
According to the October data of aviation regulator DGCA, low-cost carrier IndiGo carried around 47 per cent of domestic passenger traffic. SpiceJet and Air India were at number two and three with around 15 per cent and 13 per cent share, respectively.