Air India will not be privatised, says Patel

The issue, however, will not affect the public sector character of the airline, Patel told the mediapersons after he formally took charge of the ministry.

The NACI that runs Air India has been making losses due to the slowdown. The money raised by the IPO is expected to be used in the expansion of the airline which was earlier merged with Indian Airlines. Patel, however, did not give any time frame for the IPO:  “This is one area of intent. It will bring in much-needed liquidity infusion and also accountability. As a part of its fleet-acquisition programme, 111 new aircraft will be acquired by 2012.”

Talking about his approach, Patel said there would be continuity with change. A number of policies would be carried forward from his previous tenure but there might be a number of changes in policy matters due to change in economic conditions.

Patel also said that his focus would be on safety, improving the infrastructure and strengthening of the national carrier Air India. There would be no more privatisation of airports in the country, he added.

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