Monday, February 20, 2012

Loan for aircraft will not hurt United States airline industry: Air India

National carrier Air India on Monday refuted claims by US airline industry that financial support by the US Export Import bank to it for buying 27 aircraft will hurt the US carriers.

The ailing national carrier also said that it is not the party in the case filed against the American Export Import Bank (ExIm) for giving loan guarantees of $3.4 billion to the carrier for buying 27 aircraft from Boeing.

In a revised complaint filed before a US court on Friday last week, the Air Transport Association of America, Delta Air Line and Air Line Pilots Association International, alleged that Exim Bank’s decision to provide a loan guarantee of $ 3.4 billion to Air India to help it buy 30 aircraft from Boeing would badly affect several US airlines, the Delta in particular.

Air India also rebutted claims of Air Transport Association of America, the airlines’ lobby, saying the 27 aircraft bought with the loan are yet to be inducted.

Air India said all its India-US flights were operated on Boeing 777s for which it did not seek the loan from the ExIm bank.

“We are not a party in this matter. We had entered into an agreement with US ExIm bank for long-term loans for buying 27 B-787 Dreamliner aircraft manufactured by Boeing,” a senior Air India official said.

The first of the Dreamliners is likely to be delivered to the national carrier next month. The Air Transport Association of America have filed a revised complaint before a US court alleging that Air India got an undue competitive advantage by taking US taxpayers’ money to buy Boeing jets for less than what it would have paid in a free market.

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