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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), after being quite for a long time on Monday, questioned state-run carrier Air India for selling five Boeing 777s at a loss to Etihad in 2013.

The CAG has sought civil aviation ministry’s response on why this deal was allowed under the United Progressive Alliance government.

The CAG query addressed two aspects – one of selling the aircraft after six years of operation, when they were meant to be operated for 25 years; and the second of selling it at much lower than the cost price, The Economic Times reported.

Former comptroller and auditor general, Vinod Rai had earlier raised questions about Air India and Etihad deal for $350 million in his 2014 book ‘Not Just an Accountant’. In the book, he had mentioned, “Why did we make purchases and within five years of the delivery of the aircraft, sell them at roughly 427 crore each to Etihad Airways after having purchased them in 2005 for 1,300 crore per aircraft?”

Air India in its defense has said that the long-range planes were not not fuel efficient and were losing money on its overseas flights, including to US and Japan, according to Economic Times.

Etihad reportedly is currently using the aircraft to connect to Abu Dhabi to destinations in US. The long range Boeing 777-200-LR has a range of 17,370 km, allowing it to connect almost any city in the world from Etihad’s Abu Dhabi hub.


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On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

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Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

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