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Air India may get its FY17 books in order by mid-August

Ashwini Phadnis New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2018

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This will pave way for govt to begin the airline’s privatisation process

With its subsidiaries expected to finalise their accounts for 2016-17 over the next few weeks, national carrier Air India is also likely to get its books in order for the fiscal by mid-August.

The finalisation of accounts should allow the government form the grounds on which to invite bids for the State-owned carrier’s privatisation. On June 28, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its “in-principle” approval for the airline’s privatisation.

Air India has five subsidiaries, of which only one — Air India Express — has announced its results. AI Transport Services Limited, Air India Engineering, and Alliance Air are yet to declare their results.

AI Express reported a net profit of ₹296.7 crore for 2016-17. During the fiscal, the airline’s revenues rose 14 per cent to stand at ₹3,335 crore. AI Express had recorded a net profit of ₹361.68 crore for the previous fiscal.

The government, it is learnt, is keen to complete the privatisation of Air India within a a year from now. Hence, two transaction advisors are likely to be appointed soon, and also two valuators, to look after the airline’s properties.

Meanwhile, the process for rebidding for 30 of the 100-odd properties that Air India owns has restarted. This is expected to generate ₹400-₹500 crore which will go into wiping out a small percentage of the airline’s ₹50,000-crore debt.

Air India has already sold three properties — Sterling Apartments in Delhi for ₹88 crore to SBI, a plot in Coimbatore to NBCC for ₹19.81 crore and a residential property in Mauritius for ₹3 crore.

Published on July 25, 2017

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