New Delhi: The Centre on Monday, November 19, said it would not bail out cash-strapped Jet Airways, stating that it’s the responsibility of the management to implement policies to ensure financial stability and a smooth functioning of the airline.
According to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, the government looks at sector-specific issues in the current deregulated policy environment.
Prabhu was answering questions on a possible bail-out package for the private airline at the launch event of the upgraded version of “AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app” here.
Civil Aviation Secretary R. N. Choubey said the airline wanted some time to pay charges levied by airport operators.
Choubey said the issue had to be sorted out between the airline and airport operators and that the ministry has no role in such commercial deliberations.
Currently, the airline is facing financial troubles due to an increase in jet fuel prices, a weaker rupee, and low fares.
On November 16, Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group firms, said discussions on acquiring a stake in the financially-troubled airline were at a preliminary stage.
On Air India’s financial woes, Choubey said the airline was being given support from “time to time”.
He further said that the airline’s performance was being monitored.
Last month in Hyderabad, the secretary had said that a revival package for the debt-ridden national carrier had nearly been finalised and that the government was providing all support to Air India to ensure that it remained a viable entity.
On August 7, Parliament had approved the gross additional expenditure of Rs 980 crore for equity infusion into the heavily indebted airline.
The Central government had invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) on March 28 this year for disinvestment of Air India, including the national carrier’s shareholding interest in Air India Express Ltd and Air India SATS. But, it received no response till May 31, the closing day.
Despite the lack of buyer interest, the government stated that it was still committed to the idea of Air India’s strategic divestment.