Rs 2600 cr to service Air India debt

Rs 1084 cr for new VVIP aircraft

The allocations used to service the debt of Rs 29,000 crore that the SPV has taken over from Air India. File photo

Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday doubled allocation for a special purpose vehicle Air India Asset Holding Limited (AIAHL) set up to service Air India's debt to Rs 2600 crore.

The allocations will be used to service the debt of Rs 29,000 crore that the SPV has taken over from Air India.

As part of the plan to improve the financial position of Air India, the government had announced to transfer about Rs 29,000 crore of the airliner's debt into a special purpose vehicle. The move was aimed at reducing the interest servicing liabilities of Air India.

The SPV will also take the assets of Air India, which will be monetised to reduce the loan of Rs 29,000 crore. In the previous Budget, the government had allocated Rs 1,300 crore for the SPV.

Goyal also set aside Rs 480 crore for the regional connectivity scheme (UDAAN) which the Modi government claims is targeted at helping the common man take up air travel.

“Because of the Udaan scheme, today an ordinary man is also travelling by air... Domestic passenger traffic has doubled during the last five years leading to a large number of jobs being created also,” the minister said.

The Budget also made a provision of Rs 1,084 crore for purchase of two new aircraft for Special Extra Section Flight operations. The funds would be used for furnishing the new Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft procured by the government to ferry VVIPs such as the President, the Vice President and the Prime Minister.

Currently, the dignitaries use a Boeing 747 aircraft for foreign travel which has been in service for several decades. The security establishment had flagged concerns over the ageing aircraft and demanded a replacement.

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Rs 2600 cr to service Air India debt

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