PMO reviews performance of Air India

New Delhi, Jan 6 (PTI) The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) today reviewed the operational and financial performance of national carrier Air India.

The meeting, which comes ahead of the Union Budget, assumes significance against the backdrop of the airline posting operational losses in the first two quarters of the current financial year.

Sources said a detailed presentation about the operational as well as the financial performance of Air India was given to officials at the PMO today.

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The meeting was attended by Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, his deputy Jayant Sinha, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey and Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani, sources added.

Specific details about the meeting could not be immediately ascertained.

Air India, which is staying afloat on a ten-year long bailout package worth over Rs 30,000 crore, posted an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in the last fiscal. This was the first time in a decade that the embattled carrier turned operationally profitable.

However, in the first two quarters of the current financial year (2016-17), the airline reported operational losses, raising concerns about its financial stability.

Its cumulative losses stood at over Rs 700 crore for the six months ended September 2016.

The Rs 30,231 crore bailout package was extended by the previous UPA government in 2012 apart from equity support for payment of principal/interest of the non-convertible debentures.

Of the total package, the government has already infused over Rs 24,000 crore into the carrier between April 2011 and December 2016.

However, Air India’s total borrowings stood at Rs 46,570,35 crore as on September 30, 2016.

Source: PTI