Aviation ministry working on bailout plan for airlines

Aviation ministry working on bailout plan for airlines Zee Media Bureau/Santosh Kumar

New Delhi: The Civil Aviation ministry has begun working on a financial bailout package for the sector which is saddled by huge losses mounting up to Rs 49,000 crore, a highly placed source in the ministry has told Zee Media.

The aviation ministry is exploring possibilities of offering loans at lower rates for working capital through the state-owned banks, the official has said.

The ministry expects to form a comprehensive plan over the next month and subsequently seek the approval from the finance ministry.

The Indian airline industry suffered a total operating loss of over Rs 5,840 crore, including over Rs 3,159 crore of Air India, in 2012-13, Rajya Sabha was informed last week.

However, the losses to Air India as well as the private carriers have shown a declining trend since 2009-10 till 2012-13.

IndiGo was the only airline to have reported profits during this period, barring 2011-12 when it made a loss of about Rs 88 crore, Minister of State for Civil Aviation GM Siddeshwara said in reply to questions.

Air India's operating loss was Rs 3,373 crore in 2009-10, Rs 4,087 crore in 2010-11, Rs 5,537 crore in 2011-12 and Rs 3,159 crore in 2012-13.

The private carriers—Jet Airways, JetLite, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo and now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines—reported a total loss of Rs 3,733 crore in 2009-10, Rs 2,902 crore in 2010-11, shot up to Rs 7,272 crore in 2011-12 and again slided to Rs 2,682 crore in 2012-13.

With PTI Inputs