The Ministry of Civil Aviation said on Tuesday that it would make sure that Air India continues to operate 'uninterruptedly'. The ministry said that it aims to improve the airline's operations as the government plans to go ahead with Air India's disinvestment process.
"MoCA reiterates that the Government, while going ahead with the disinvestment, would ensure that Air India continues to operate uninterruptedly and improves its operations also. There is no cause for worry to any of its stakeholders," said the aviation ministry in a tweet.
MoCA reiterates that the Government, while going ahead with the disinvestment, would ensure that @airindiain continues to operate uninterruptedly and improves its operations also. There is no cause for worry to any of its stakeholders.- Ministry of Civil Aviation (@MoCA_GoI) January 14, 2020
This statement from the ministry comes amid reports of the airline shutting shop if it fails to privatise. Air India chief Ashwani Lohani told the ministry in December that the airline's financial situation was 'grossly untenable' for sustaining operations. Lohani said in January that the rumours about the airline's shutdown are all baseless.
Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri had also said last year that it would be difficult to run the airline without privatising it. "If we don't privatise Air India, where will we get the money to operate it? Right now, Air India is a first class asset and we will get bidders if we sell it. And if we take ideological positions, then it will be difficult to run it," he had said. The minister had, however, also said at the Parliament that the Air India pilots are very well looked after and their salaries are very good when compared to other airlines.
Following Puri's statement at the Parliament, the Indian Commercial Pilots' Association wrote to the minister asking him to clear the pending salaries of its employees and to let them quit without serving the required notice period.
Air India's net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore. The airline's current total debt is around Rs 80,000 crore.