Air India eyes Rs 8 billion from sale of residential, commercial properties

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Mumbai, Nov 15: Loss-making national carrier Air India plans to mop up Rs 7-8 billion by selling over 70 residential and commercial properties spread across the country, a senior airline official said on Thursday.
This fresh bid is a part of the airline’s real estate assets monetisation plan approved by the then UPA government in 2012. As per the plan, Air India had to the garner funds to the tune of Rs 50 billion between April 2014 and March 2021, with an annual target of Rs 5 billion from FY13 onwards.
The properties, which are spread over 16 cities pan India, will be e-auctioned through the state-run auctioneer MSTC.
“We are expecting to raise about Rs 7-8 billion by e-auctioning of these over 70 properties, which comprises both residential as well as commercial. Some of these properties are those which we put up on the block earlier but could not get a buyer,” the official said.
Last month, Air India had put 14 properties on sale, in cities such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Amritsar.
Air India’s debt burden stands around Rs 550 billion, besides huge accumulated losses. According to its audited accounts, the airline’s total losses stood at Rs 471.4562 billion in 2016-17.
The government had in May said that Air India has mopped up Rs 5.4303 billion from monetisation of its assets in prime locations, such as Mumbai and Chennai.
The national carrier had also collected Rs 2.91 billion as lease rentals from its iconic 23-storeyed building, its erstwhile headquarters, at Nariman Point in the city, between FY13 and January 2018, it had said.