Govt eyes Rs 9,000 crore from sale of land, realty assets of Air India

New Delhi, Dec 3: The government expects to mop up about Rs 9,000 crore by selling off land and real estate properties of debt laden Air India, an official said on Monday.
The sale of land, building and other realty assets is part of the government’s plan to trim the Rs 55,000 crore debt burden of Air India as this will make the airline competitive and fetch a better valuation when the government plans strategic sale of national carrier again.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley headed ministerial panel had last week approved transferring Rs 29,000 crore debt to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) — Air India Asset Holding Company.
The funds raised through sale of the properties would be used to reduce the Rs 29,000 crore debt, held in the SPV.
“We are looking to raise about Rs 9,000 crore from sale of land and property assets of Air India. These include Airlines House in Bombay, realty property in Delhi’s Vasant Vihar and land in Baba Kharak Singh Marg, next to Connaught Place,” an official said. Last week the ministerial panel on Air India disinvestment had cleared strategic sale of Air India ground handling subsidiary Air India Air Transport Services Limited (AIATSL). The proceeds from sale of AIATSL will also be used to reduce the debt held in the SPV. AIATSL earned Rs 61.66 crore profit in financial year 2016-17.
“We are going step by step to reduce the debt of Air India. When we hit the markets again with strategic sale of Air India, potential investors will find it lucrative to purchase the carrier. These are all steps towards sale of Air India,” the official added.