All about Air India

Air India is the national flag carrier airline of India. It is headquartered at New Delhi and has been owned by Air India Limited(AIL).

AIL is a government-owned enterprise and the airline has its main aircraft hub at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA), New Delhi.

The airline is the member of the international Airline union, the Star Alliance and is among the largest national and international carriers of India.

Brief History

  • The airline was founded by J. R. D. Tata as the Tata Airlines in the year 1932 with Tata himself flying aircraft carrying air mail from Karachi to Madras via Bombay’s Juhu aerodrome.
  • Tata Airlines was transformed into a public limited company and was renamed as Air India.
  • The Air India was the first Asian Airline to induct a jet engine aircraft (the Boeing 707) in its fleet.
  • While it was one of the best airlines in the world, it started to go downhill after it started suffering losses following its merger with Indian Airlines.

Current Status

Air India is in a debt of Rs. 59000 crores. The Government proposes to retire Rs. 29000 cr into a special purpose vehicle(SPV). Air India has several monetizable assets and its financial performance is improving significantly compared to the past. There are plans to monetize Air India’s HQ at Nariman Point which is a very valuable real-estate.

The Government is committed to privatizing the Airline once it has been brought back to a level where good offers can be received and have assured that Air India employees will be well taken care of and the airline will continue to pay its salaries on time. It aims to make the airline more viable, revive it and then divest it. An earlier attempt by the government to sell 76% stake in the Air India had failed due to lack of interest from prospective bidders.

 

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