The government on Thursday blamed erstwhile Congress-led UPA regime for turning the national Air Carrier to a loss making unit for not utlilising the routes efficiently and said a Revival Plan has been prepared to take it out from the crisis.
Responding to a question from Trinamool Congress lawmaker Dinesh Trivedi, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said: “Our efforts have brought in change, and there is impressive turnaround of Air India”.
He told the Lok Sabha that the government has prepared a Revival Plan of Air India which focusses on building a competitive and profitable airline group.
He said the Revival Plan focusses on a comprehensive financial package and that also includes transferring non-core debt.
“The efforts also include higher levels of operational efficiency by strengthening management and implementing best practice business processes,” he said.
Asking supplementary questions, Mr Trivedi said when it comes to ‘monetisation of assets’, the government ought to take care of the ‘routes’ and how these were handed over to other operators.
“Air India is one of the best airlines in the world. One of the reasons why Air India has gone into debt is because you have not clearly utilised your routes efficiently and the routes were given to somebody else,” he said, adding things actually started before the NDA government took over.
“My question is, are you having relook at monetising the routes of Air India? Are you going to have a relook at the routes of Air India? ” the Trinamool MP remarked.
Responding to him, Mr Sinha said the previous government is to be blamed for the same.
Mr Sinha also said there has been increase in travel capacity by 28 per cent.
The number of planes too have gone up from 96 to 118, the Minister said(UNI)