And Rs. 532 crore for operating VVIP and rescue flights for government

Ailing State-owned Air India is all set to get a fresh funds from the government with the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Monday approving in principle additional equity infusion of Rs. 1,200 crore and payment of Rs. 532 crore for operating VVIP and rescue flights.

Struggling with huge accumulated loss and debt burden of about Rs. 67,000 crore, Air India badly needs funds to continue to fly. The GoM, headed by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, met and discussed issues being faced by the national flag carrier.

Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav told reporters that the GoM has in-principle granted approval for the Rs. 1,200 crore equity infusion. The GoM agreed to the payment of Rs. 532 crore to Air India for operating VVIP and rescue flights for the government. .

Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said the GoM would meet again next week to discuss other finance-related issues of Air India. Mr. Jadhav said the GoM asked the finance committee to prepare a note on Air India's turnaround plan.

Debt burden

Air India has to repay Rs. 20,415 crore worth of loans before the end of this fiscal year, official sources said. As per the latest estimates, the cash-starved carrier was facing a net cumulative loss of Rs. 20,320 crore between April 2007 and March 2011.