New York: Calling Air India "one of the most poorly-run airlines in the world", American carriers have opposed the US Exim Bank's USD 3.4 billion support to it to buy Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
The Air Transport Association (ATA), a trade group representing America's biggest carriers, has shot off a letter to US Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg opposing the decision, saying Air India's financial ill-health should disqualify it from getting American help.
The US Exim Bank had last month decided to give loan guarantees of USD 1.3 billion to support Air India's fleet acquisition from Boeing and another USD 2.1 billion preliminary commitment to support future deliveries of the US aerospace company's planes to the Indian national carrier.
A decision to this effect was taken early October by the Board of Directors of the Export-Import Bank of the US.
In its response, Exim Bank's general counsel said the bank stood by its decisions and processes, though it would investigate some of ATA's assertions about its procedures, a report said.
"Air India's borrowing is backed by a sovereign guarantee of the Indian government and its business plan has been vetted by Exim Bank staff," the report quoted a US government official as saying.
The official said support to foreign buyers of Boeing planes was important since if the US plane maker could not sell airplanes to foreign buyers like Air India, its chief rival Europe's Airbus probably would.
Air India has pending orders for 27 Boeing Dreamliners, the deliveries of which are expected to begin by the end of this year. These are part of the 68-aircraft order placed by the national carrier with the US plane manufacturer.