NEW DELHI: India’s national carrier Air India on Monday sought bids for the sale of 14 properties, through which the debt-laden airline aims to raise Rs 250 crore, a senior airline official said.
The government of India is looking to bolster the fortunes of the state-run carrier after the proposed strategic stake sale failed to take off in May. Against this backdrop, efforts are continuing for the sale of the airline’s non-core assets.
The properties, spread across Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Amritsar, include commercial and residential land as well as residential flats, according to an advertisement in a business daily.
The last date for participating in the bids is November 1, according to the advertisement.
“We expect to mop up around Rs 250 crore from sale of these properties,” the official told PTI.
Air India’s debt burden is estimated to be more than Rs 50,000 crore, besides huge accumulated losses.
According to its audited accounts, the airline’s total losses stood at Rs 47,145.62 crore in 2016-17.
The government of India (GoI) had in 2012 approved monetisation of real estate assets in Air India to the tune of Rs 5,000 crore over the next 10-year period, with an annual target of Rs 500 crore from FY13 onwards.
The GoI had in May said that Air India has mopped up Rs 543.03 crore from monetisation of its assets in prime locations such as Mumbai and Chennai.
The national carrier had also collected Rs 291 crore as lease rentals from its iconic 23-storeyed building, its erstwhile headquarters, at Nariman Point in the city, between FY13 and January 2018, it had said.
The government is now planning to sell this building, and has started discussions for the same as part of efforts to raise funds for the cash crunch-hit airline. It currently generates around Rs 90 crore revenues annually by way of lease rentals.
The move is, however, being opposed by its employees’ union.