Govt committed to disinvestment of Air India

The government is committed to disinvestment of Air India but wants the national carrier to remain in Indian hands, Lok Sabha was informed on Thursday.

Responding to a series of supplementaries during 'Question Hour', Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also said though Air India is doing "extremely well", the debt burden on the carrier is "unsustainable".

Referring to the airline sector in the country, he said except in April when Jet Airways ceased functioning, the market growth has been on an average at 17 per cent per annum.

When Jet ended its operations, there were 540 aircraft with Indian carriers and the number now stands at 570-580 and new planes are being introduced every month.

Manish Tewari (Cong) wanted to know why the government was disinvesting Air India when it was dong well.

Puri said the debt burden of the airline was a major reason the Centre wanted to disinvest it.