June 13, 2021

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What is the story behind a false Aug 25 notice stating that Air India would be shut down this year?


The said notification had further asked employees to search for other jobs, causing panic and confusion.

In a tweet message later Air India clarified the notification as fake. It called it a “false propaganda” hatched by “anti-nationals”. 

“This is absolutely incorrect and false propaganda hatched with a malicious intent to create confusion and destabilise Air India just when our performance graph is rising,” the release read.

It added that such hoax messages should be ignored and strict legal action was being planned against perpetrators of such “anti-national” acts.

The truth of the matter is that Air India is currently crippled by various problems. The worst being its inability to pay its staff the salaries in addition to high interest burden, increase in competition, high airport user charges, adverse impact of exchange rate variation and liberalised bilaterals to foreign carriers leading to excess capacity in the market are among the major reasons for the losses.

Air india is immersed in a huge debt of more than Rs 48,000 crore. According to the Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu : “Air India is very clearly a legacy issue. Air India’s debt is unsustainable. Forget Air India, nobody can handle that debt. For any airline to service that debt is not possible.”

The government had even tried to sell 76 per cent stake in Air India in May 2018, but not a single buyer turned up. A revival strategy is now being planned as the government tries to make the airline “competitive” before making a fresh attempt for disinvestment.

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