New Delhi, Aug 24: Air India needs a bailout of nearly 620 million dollars to keep it flying, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told to India's Business Standard newspaper.
Patel said, "The airline will survive. Every time it was in trouble the problems were rolled over, and we will roll over this time also."
He said he did not want the government to have to bailout the state-run carrier but added that "we have to do certain things as shareholders" of the airline.
"Air India should be sold, but I've been asked to keep it going," he told the newspaper.
"The airline needs a 30 billion rupee (618.6 million dollar) equity infusion and the conversion of high-cost debt to low-cost debt to keep it going," Patel added.
In a bid to cut costs, Air India had recently announced it would divide productivity-linked incentive payments for its 31,000 employees and also cut down crew flying allowances by 50 percent.