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Air India, Chicago organizes special screening of ‘Airlift’

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Nakul Chand, Manager-Midwest, Air India with Staff of Indian Consulate General, Community Leaders, Corporate and Retail Customers of Air India, Travel Agents, Airport Service Providers of Air India, and Members of the Media.
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Chicago IL: Air India, Chicago organized a special screening of the latest Hindi Blockbuster Movie, “Airlift-Air India’s Call for Duty”, on January 31st, 2016.

D B Bhati and O P Meena Consuls at the Consulate General of India in Chicago, Vinesh Virani from The Art of Living foundation, and Minhaj Akhtar, President, FIA, Chicago were the Special Guests at the screening, which saw the participation of over 200 eminent people, including Staff of Indian Consulate General, Community Leaders, Corporate and Retail Customers of Air India, and Members of the Electronic and Print Media

The movie showcases the rescue of over one lakh Indians who were stranded in Kuwait after Iraq had invaded the country in 1990. Air India, which had airlifted all those stranded Indians by flying 488 flights over 59 days, had played a central role in the rescue mission. Air India had even entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the civil airline that had evacuated the most people till date.

Describing the movie, OP Meena said: “Airlift is a tribute to the massive evacuation pulled off by the functionaries of Indian government, Air India, Indian Airlines, and Air Force.”

Minhaj Akhtar opined, “Airlift underscores that intervention by the Government and its agencies will bear fruit only when these are accompanied by voluntary action by the people in general and the real victims of such tragedies in particular”

Delicious refreshments were also served at the event for the attendees.

Here are some of the pictures from the event:

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09 AMU_6695 13 AMU_6674(With inputs and images from Asian Media USA)

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AI’s divestment process takes-off, govt to off-load 76% stake

Currently, the combined entity of AI and AIXL has an extensive network connecting around 43 international destinations and around 54 domestic destinations

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The divestment process of the flag carrier Air India (AI) took-off, after the government invited “Expression of Interest” to off-load 76 per cent stake and management control of the airline.

The Preliminary Information Memorandum (PIM) inviting “EoI” for the strategic divestment of AI, along with the airline’s shares in AIXL (Air India Express) and AISATS (Air India SATS Airport Services) from private entities including the airline’s employees was issued on Wednesday. The central government owns 100 per cent equity of Air India. In turn, the airline holds full stake in Air India Express, while it holds 50 per cent stake in the joint venture AISATS.

The ill-fated flight IC-814 was destined to fly from Kathmandu to Delhi
Air India is going through major losses.

Accordingly, it has been planned to divest 76 per cent government stake in AI, 100 per cent in AIXL and 50 per cent in AISATS. “The Government of India has given ‘in-principle’ approval for the strategic disinvestment of AI by way of the transfer of management control and sale of 76 per cent equity share capital of AI held by GOI, which will include AI’s shareholding interest in the AIXL and AISATS,” said the PIM document.

The document detailed that apart from AIXL and AISAT, other subsidiaries of AI Group like AIESL (Air India Engineering Services Ltd), AIATSL (Air India Air Transport Services Ltd), HCI (Hotel Corporation of India) and AASL (Airline Allied Services Ltd), “will not be part of the proposed transaction”.

According to the memorandum, private entities should have a net worth of Rs 5,000 crore to be eligible to send in their EoIs for the proposed transaction. The entity is also required to have reported a positive profit after tax in at least three of the five preceding financial years.

“However, if the member of the consortium is a scheduled airline operator in India, the condition to meet minimum share of net worth/ACI requirement shall not apply to such member provided equity shareholding of such member is restricted to maximum of 51% of paid up equity share capital of the consortium,” the document said. “In case of a foreign airline, the requirement to meet minimum share of the Net Worth/ACI requirement shall remain applicable.”

Also Read: India becomes 3rd Largest Aviation Market in Domestic Passenger Traffic

On the debt restructuring, the PIM disclosed that the “existing debt and liabilities of AI and AIXL as on 31st March, 2017 are being reallocated and it is expected that debt and liabilities, including net current liabilities of Rs 88,160 million, aggregating to Rs 333,920 million will remain with AI and AIXL”.

“The balance debt shall be allocated to Air India Asset Holding Ltd which is 100 per cent owned by the GOI subject to receipt of requisite approvals from lenders and regulators, as applicable.”

Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) Secretary Neeraj Kumar Gupta said that non-core assets like buildings and others will be transferred to the SPV.

“Only the core assets which are essential for operation, they are being transferred with Air India. All non-core assets are being hived off to the SPV. It will be separately monetized,” he said.

Besides, the PIM had revealed that “Confirmed selected bidder” will be required to be invested in the airline for at least three years and keep the “substantial ownership and effective control” of both Air India and Air India Express vested with Indian nationals.

“It is the intention of GOI to divest its residual shareholding through the process of dispersed disinvestment (i.e. would not be sold as a block) on such terms as may be prescribed in the RFP,” the document read.

“Further, the confirmed selected bidder may be required to list AI on such terms as may be prescribed in the RFP. GOI may support such listing through proportionate offering in the listing process…”

The selected bidder will be allowed to use the “Air India” brand for AI business operations for a minimum specified number of years…” The last date of EoI submission has been set for May 14, 2018. Last month, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha had said that the government plans to divest its stake in the national passenger carrier by this year-end.

In his Budget speech for 2018-19, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said: “The government has also initiated the process of strategic disinvestment in 24 Central Public Sector Enterprises. This includes strategic privatization of Air India.”

The airline is under a massive debt burden of over Rs 50,000 crore. Currently, the combined entity of AI and AIXL has an extensive network connecting around 43 international destinations and around 54 domestic destinations. The entity operated a fleet of 138 aircraft as of December 31, 2017 comprises 69 Airbus and 69 Boeing plans. IANS