IATA: Air India cool on possible privatisation

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State-owned Air India has no plans to push for privatisation in the near future and is confident that the new government will continue to support the airline.

Chairman and managing director of the state-owned carrier, Rohit Nandan, told reporters during the IATA AGM in Doha that the airline’s place to suggest privatisation, as it is a “political decision that will be taken by the government.”

“There is nothing really virtuous about being private. We have got so many private airlines that have failed,” he says. “It’s not who owns the airline, it is how you manage the airline.”

Nandan adds that the carrier is tracking well to its financial turnaround plan, and believes that the new BJP government will continue to support the plan.

“We are more than confident since our performance during the last two years has been significantly better, the government will look at it very positively,” he says.

Under the plan, Air India has received a number of cash infusions, and is in the process of spinning off its ground handling and engineering operations into separate companies.

It has also been renewing its fleet around new Boeing 787-8s, 777-300ERs and Airbus A320s.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Air India operates a fleet of 93 aircraft and has a further 16 on order.