No Bailout Package to Private Carrier or Air India: Praful Patel

Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has ruled out any kind of bailout for the private airlines as well as state-owned carrier Air India a day after the formed called off its Aug 18 strike.

“There is no question of a financial bailout for private airlines. We are not even bailing out Air India, which is owned by the government,” Patel told persons in New Delhi.

“But we will try to help them (the carriers), in every possible way as it is an important sector,” the minister stated, emphasising that the government understood the problems faced by the aviation industry.

It may be mentioned that following stern action by the government and all round resentment and anguish expressed by air travelers, private airlines withdrew their strike call of Aug 18 on Saturday.

Earlier, these airlines had issued a threat that they would also stop flying next month if a bailout package was not announced by the government to help them tide over the ongoing financial crisis, which they claim has escalated their collective losses to over $2 billion.

Among the various demands, the carriers cuts in sales tax on aviation fuel, and on airport charges – which they say have ballooned since they started operations.

Apart from their accumulated losses of over $2 billion, the private carriers owe nearly $500 million as fuel dues to oil companies.

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