• Govt has no plans to divest stake in Air-India: Civil Aviation Secy

    The Government has no plans to divest its stake in Air India, R.N. Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, said on Friday.

    “Currently there is no move for divestment of Government stake in Air India,” Choubey told newspersons on the sidelines of the 29th anniversary of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security. While sections in the Government are said to be in favour of divesting Air India so as to raise funds, there are others who feel that this is not the right time to divest a stake as the airline has reported losses for several years and the Government will not be able to get a good price for its asset.

    Asked to comment on the decision of domestic airlines to stop flights to four airports including Mysuru, the Secretary pointed out that there were different traffic demands during different times of the year. Bhavnagar, Porbandar and Nanded are the other airports to which domestic airlines have stopped operating flights in the summer schedule, which came into effect on March 27 this year.

    “In (the) winter schedule (there) is much higher demand while in the summer schedule demand is much lower. This is a normal phenomenal. It is not as if four airports have been taken off the air map. Many more airports will be added during the winter schedule. The regional connectivity scheme, which the Government is working on as part of the civil aviation policy, is meant to answer the issue,” Choubey said.

    The Secretary expressed confidence that the civil aviation policy will be taken to the Cabinet for its approval this month. The policy has been in the works since October last year. 

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