November 13 2019
AI lenders to get preference shares worth Rs.7,500 crore
29 December 2011

 A proposal to issue preferential shares worth Rs.7,500 crore to Air India's lenders was approved by its board on Thursday, as the national carrier saw a significant rise in its yields and passenger revenue.

The board, at its meeting here, “approved the rearrangement of authorised share capital by the issue of preference shares worth Rs.7,500 crore, which are proposed to be allotted to the lenders of the working capital as part of the Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP),” an Air India spokesperson said.

In another development, he said a Cabinet note was being moved by the Civil Aviation Ministry for the purpose of equity infusion in Air India and to approve the restructuring plan.

While its yield went up by 10 per cent in November, Air India's passenger revenue also rose by 12.3 per cent.

The board, which reviewed the directors' report on the airline's performance in 2010-11, was also briefed on the progress made in implementation of the FRP, including the debt recast plan finalised at a meeting of the bankers' consortium late last month.

State Bank of India, as leader of the consortium, has approached the Reserve Bank of India for certain additional dispensations in the provisioning norms, the spokesman said.

The bankers have sought an extension of provisioning norms so that the provision could be spread over five financial years.

Air India officials said the issue “has already been taken up with the RBI and their reply is awaited.''

The officials also maintained that Air India had the ‘full support' of its lenders to conclude this arrangement within 120 days of the RBI approval, that is, before the middle of March next.

The debt recast plan of Air India as approved by the RBI includes conversion of short-term working capital loan of Rs.7,000 crore into cumulative preferential shares and more time to repay the remaining debt amount of approximately Rs.14,000 crore.

The airline has total of Rs.21,511.10 crore as short-term working capital loans and it pays an interest of over Rs.2,600 crore annually.

Air India's key performance indicators such as passenger revenue, passenger carried and yield, in the April-November period, also showed improvement compared to the corresponding period of last year, the spokesperson said. The board was informed that the airline's passenger revenue went up by 12.3 per cent, yield by 10 per cent, the number of passengers carried by 7.7 per cent and the average seat per kilometre (ASKM) by 1.9 per cent.

The national carrier maintained a domestic load factor of almost 75 per cent (74.9 per cent) and international load factor of 64.1 per cent.

The board also approved the appointment of Vinod Asthana as the Managing Director of Hotel Corporation of India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, he said. 



Related Stories