- Aircraft will be used to ferry President, Vice President, Prime Minister
- Cost for modification estimated at over Rs 1,160 crore
- Air India has a debt burden of more than Rs. 50,000 crore
As part of the modification of the aircraft for VVIPs, two Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft are set to undergo re-configuration and are to be delivered in January 2018. In a tender document, Air India said it would like to avail a bridge loan of up to $180 million to finance the cost of modification.
"Government of India has indicated that they would issue its guarantee for the financing cost of modification of the two B777-300 ER aircraft for a period of 12 months or less," according to the document issued last week.
These loans would further increase the debt level of Air India, which has a debt burden of more than Rs. 50,000 crore.
Earlier this year, the government had given in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries. A ministerial panel under Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is working on the modalities for strategic disinvestment of the flag carrier and its five subsidiaries.
Of these, the state-run carrier has already taken the delivery of 65 planes. At present, the flagship airline has a fleet of 115 aircraft.
(With agency inputs)