AI to raise Rs. 1,415-cr short-term loan to buy 2 Dreamliners

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DreamlinersState-run Air India is looking at mopping up a bridge loan of over Rs. 1,400 crore to finance the delivery of two more Dreamliners.

The aircraft, for which it has sought the bridge financing, are to be delivered in the next two months, according to the bid document posted on the national carrier’s website.

A bridge-loan is typically used to meet payment commitments until a long-term financing is arranged.

The need for loan came as the government has refused to infuse a part of the Rs. 30,000-crore bailout package it had promised to the airline by FY 2019-20, this fiscal.

The cash-strapped Air India, which is already sitting on a debt pile of over Rs. 35,000 crore, and accumulated loss of over Rs. 27,000 crore, is raising the money for the 6-12 months period and plans to repay the same after a sale and lease back of these planes.

The airline is likely to report a loss of around Rs. 3,900 crore this fiscal, which is better than Rs. 5,400 crore it had incurred last fiscal, and is offering the aircraft as the security but has not offered government guarantee for these loans.

The bridge financing for the 12 Dreamliners, inducted between September 2012 and January 2014, is already in place, the bid document said.

Air India has already sold and leased back seven Dreamliners and it hopes to conclude the sale and lease back process of seven more (including the two on arrival) by March.

The state-run airline had placed ordered with US aircraft maker Boeing for 68 planes in January 2006, which includes 27 Dreamliners.

Apart from this, the national carrier had also booked 43 planes from Airbus, which have already been inducted.