The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating Air India’s bilateral air services agreements between 2001 and 2012 with Gulf countries, The Economic Times reported.
The investigating agency will assess the impact of these bilateral agreements on the operations of debt-laden Air India and aircraft purchases during this period.
“ED has sought details of bilaterals signed with Gulf countries between 2001 and 2012 and documents signed with Dubai, Sharjah, and Qatar during the period,” a senior government official told the paper.
The official added that the agency is looking at the government’s decision to sign separate bilaterals with Dubai and Abu Dhabi and not one bilateral with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah are members of the seven-emirate UAE.
The move comes after the Crime Bureau of Investigation (CBI) registered a first information report (FIR) alleging involvement of non-state entities in the bilateral agreements, the report stated. The CBI has been inquiring into Air India’s alleged irregularities concerning the purchase of planes, aircraft leasing, diversion of routes and the establishment of an Airbus maintenance, repair, overhaul, and training facility.