Air India lowers debt load

Air India lowers debt load

Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL) has raised another Rs 7,985 crore through the issue of bonds, and the proceeds will be utilised to repay Air India’s debt. This the third fund-raising in little over a month by the entity.

A special purpose vehicle of Air India, AIAHL has mopped up a total of Rs 21,985 crore by way of bond issues since September 16.

The civil aviation ministry said the third bond issue was fully subscribed. The issue of 10-year bonds worth Rs 1,000 crore with a green shoe option of Rs 7,064 crore received bids to the tune of Rs 15,100 crore. The bonds have been subscribed at a rate of 7.39 per cent.

“The company received bids worth Rs 15,100 cr. The company has decided to accept the issue of Rs 7,985 crore,” the ministry said in a tweet.

AIAHL had raised Rs 7,000 crore each on September 16 and October 10, respectively.

The government is preparing to divest its stake in loss-making Air India and the final contours are expected to be finalised in the coming days.

Air India Assets Holding is a special purpose vehicle formed by the government to acquire the non-core assets of Air India and its subsidiaries . The bond issues will help the sell-off-bound Air India to pare away some of its debt.

Air India’s net debt swelled from about Rs 55,000 crore at the end of March 2018 to Rs 58,351.93 crore at the end of March 2019 which includes working capital and aircraft-related debt.

The sale of Air India, which has about 128 planes, will also let the government exit a loss-making business.