Millennium Post

Ajit Singh worried about shrinking domestic air passenger space

India’s civil aviation minister Ajit Singh on Tuesday expressed concern over shrinkage in air passenger traffic numbers in the last three months but hoped that the buoyancy in the sector would lead to a spike in the long-run.

‘In the past three months, the traffic numbers have fallen. Following the global economic downturn, there were worries about a downturn in the Indian economy. There were estimations about a fall in GDP growth and there were issues relating to high costs. And airlines and the hospitality industry are the first to suffer from this,’ Singh said.

‘We hope that in the long-run the traffic will increase.

It is bound to increase,’ he said.

Official figures have shown that in July-September, the air traffic has shrunk month-over-month by 9-11 per cent. However, between January-August this year, international passenger traffic grew by 15 per cent over the same period last year and the number of passengers carried rose marginally from 39.63 million in 2011.    


The government on Tuesday decided to guarantee Air India’s non-convertible debentures [NCDs] worth Rs 7,400 crore, which will pave the way for the ailing carrier to pay off its short-term loans.

‘The ministry of finance has approved the unconditional and irrevocable guarantee for Air India NCD bonds for Rs 7,400 crore,’ an Air India spokesperson said.

AI is burdened with a debt of over Rs 43,000 crore, which is a mix of long and short-term debt and working capital loans. It will now credit rate the NCD bonds based on the guarantee issued by the government.
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