The Telegraph
Monday , April 28 , 2014
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AI looks to sell foreign assets

New Delhi, April 27 (PTI): Air India is considering selling off its properties in foreign destinations such as Hong Kong, Nairobi and Mauritius as part of asset monetisation to garner resources.

The national carrier has started approaching Indian banks and public sector undertakings for disposal of these properties, including floorspace in prime locations, airline officials said.

They said the Indian high commissions at these places had also been approached to help the airline find suitable buyers for the assets.

The plan to monetise real estate assets is an important ingredient of Air India’s financial restructuring and turnaround plans, under which the airline aims to raise an estimated Rs 5,000 crore over a period of 10 years, with an annual target of Rs 500 crore from 2013-14 onwards.

The airline has already chalked out plans to monetise its unutilised or surplus immovable assets over the next few years, the officials said, adding properties in several cities including Delhi and Mumbai are already in the process of being sold, leased or rented out.

Air India was also exploring other avenues for generating ancillary revenues, including leasing out space in some of its booking offices for banks to install ATM outlets.

The airline plans to start with leasing out office space in Delhi and Mumbai, and then extending it to cities in south India. It is also looking at enhancing its revenue through web sales, which contribute up to 20 per cent of total sales.