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PIB clears Air India's fleet acquisition plan
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October 13, 2005 20:37 IST

India's flagship carrier Air India's proposal to acquire 50 aircraft and another 18 for its subsidiary Air India Express was on Thursday cleared by the Public Investment Board.

"I am happy to announce that the PIB has decided to recommend to the government the two proposals for the purchase of 50 and 18 aircraft," civil aviation secretary Ajay Prasad said after the three-hour long meeting of PIB, chaired by Expenditure Secretary Adarsh Kishore.

"The exact amounts are going to be looked at and re-worked. It will, however, be on a 'not exceeding basis'," Prasad said in reply to questions about the proposed multi-billion dollar deal for 68 aircraft from American aircraft manufacturer Boeing.

The proposal, cleared by the PIB, would now be sent to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs for approval.

In April this year, the AI Board had approved a proposal to acquire eight Boeing 777-200 (Long Range), 15 B-777-300 (Extended Range) and 27 B-787s at a total estimated cost of about Rs 30,000 crore (Rs 300 billion) prior to the negotiations with the US company. The board also decided to purchase 18 B-737-800s for its subsidiary.

Maintaining that the PIB would also recommend to the government, the grant of sovereign guarantee on the credit to be taken by the international flagship, Prasad said the price negotiations were being carried out by the negotiating team of Air India.

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