Will have to privatise Air India, need your cooperation: Puri to unions

The government has no option but to privatise Air India as it has around Rs 80,000-crore debt and needs cooperation of the employees for carrying out the privatisation process, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri is said to have told the airline unions on Thursday.

At a meeting with some 13 Air India unions in Delhi, Puri also said that the government was trying to address the concerns of the employees regarding issues such as job protection post privatisation, a union representative said.

"The minister said that Air India has a debt of Rs 80,000 crore and no expert has solution to that. In this situation, privatisation is the only choice left for the government," one of the union representatives told PTI after the meeting, which lasted for an hour.

He also said that Puri sought cooperation from all airline unions in carrying out the disinvestment process of the national carrier.

Last week, a senior Air India official said the airline might have to go out of business in the manner similar to the now-defunct Jet Airways if a new investor does not come on board by June.



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