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A-I to raise US Exim Bank loans for jet purchase

Source: PTI
November 23, 2006 16:15 IST
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The government on Thursday said state-owned carrier Air-India would raise funds through loan guaranteed by the US Exim Bank to part-finance its purchase of 68 aircraft costing about $7.2 billion.

In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said A-I and its subsidiary Air India Charters Ltd had proposed to raise 85 per cent of the project cost to acquire the 68 planes.

He said although no final agreement has been signed, ABN Amro Bank had been mandated as Exim Bank guaranteed lender for the first tranche of 17 aircraft costing $1.5 billion.

The minister, however, said the financing for the balance 51 aircraft totaling $5.7 billion would be arranged
later. Patel said the remaining 15 per cent would be raised through commercial loans for which State Bank of India and ICICI Bank have been mandated.

Replying to another query, Patel said in view of the proposed acquisition of new aircraft by A-I and Indian, the two public sector carriers were likely to induct additional manpower based on their respective operational requirements over the induction period and beyond.

Responding to another question, Patel said government has decided to rope in experts and agencies for professionalisation of management of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi.

An empowered committee comprising officers of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA and IGRUA has been set up for the purpose, he added.
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