Govt committed to disinvestment of Air India: Minister

The government is committed to the disinvestment of national carrier Air India and the plan is to make it more operationally viable before disinvesting it, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Replying to supplementaries during 'Question Hour', the minister said there has been a steady improvement in finances of Air India and the airline is set to make profit during the current financial year.

He said Air India is currently making a revenue of Rs 15 crore everyday.

"Our plan is to revive Air India, make it more operationally viable and then to disinvest it. So far as Air India is concerned, the government is committed to the privatisation of Air India. Let there be no ambiguity on that," he said.

Hardeep said the costing and overall calculations of an Airline depends on a large number of factors, including external factors like closure of Pakistan air space, but should end the current year in profit after which it will be disinvested.

"There has been a steady improvement in Air India's finances. It has been my expectations that in the current financial year, we are hoping to make profit. But, the year that has concluded the figure shall show a loss," he said.

The Minister said in April, the airline has improved but there are certain external factors, like closure of airspace of Pakistan, that have affected its profitability.

"Our expectations is that in the coming months, in the current year, we will make a profit and turn Air India around and then privatise the airline," Hardeep said.