With new flights, Air India plans to fly high once again while Centre prepares disinvestment ground

Be it is international destinations or domestic routes, the Maharaja has been on an expansion mode adding more flights. 

Published: 16th September 2019 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2019 09:24 AM   |  A+A-

Air India

Air India (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: National carrier Air India is leaving no stone unturned to strengthen its position in the growing Indian aviation industry while the government is preparing the final ground for its disinvestment.

Be it is international destinations or domestic routes, the Maharaja has been on an expansion mode adding more flights. 

Sources said as the Central government prepares for disinvestment of the airline, efforts to fortify its financial position will help attract investors. 

Notwithstanding the massive debt burden of over Rs 58,000 crore and threats of stopping fuel supply by the oil companies, Air India is missing no opportunity to tap new routes.

First, it started flights connecting major cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Indore and Kolkata to Dubai. 

Officials said the airline is all set to launch a daily direct flight from Lucknow to Jeddah this winter. At present, this flight is operated via New Delhi. Moreover, as part of its international network expansion, Air India is introducing flights from Delhi to Seoul, South Korea. The non-stop operations to Seoul will start from September 18. 

The airline has also planned a Delhi-Toronto direct flight from September, Mumbai-Nairobi, and Delhi-Chennai-Bali flight service in October and November.

Last week, Air India was quick to react when aviation consultancy CAPA said that Indigo is the largest single international airline operating to/from India in terms of seats deployed.

The Maharaja issued a rebuttal claiming its top position. 

The national carrier has also added many flights within India, including flights on Mumbai-Dehradun-Amritsar-Patna routes. 

Moreover, the airline has planned to connect the tourist destination of Khajuraho with New Delhi. A daily flight will start in October.

Money wise

An official said that the airline is also working on the monetisation of its assets to reduce debt. It has realised nearly Rs 750 crore through the monetisation of its assets programme as well as from space rentals

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