Air India seeks proposals to raise up to $800 mln in debt

NEW DELHI, May 8 (Reuters) - State-run carrier Air India has invited offers from banks to raise up to $800 million via external commercial borrowing and bridge financing, two documents posted on the company’s website showed.

A bridge financing of up to $500 million will be used to fund its purchases of four Boeing Dreamliners, while the ailing national carrier plans to raise another $300 million through overseas debt.

The documents, posted on Air India’s website on Monday, showed that the bridge loan will not be covered by the federal guarantee, but the aircrafts or other equivalent means can be used as security.

The government had last month extended a life line to Air India, which is on course to receive a $5.8 billion bailout by 2020. Its 19 lenders are also restructuring $4.2 billion in loans.

The airline was forced to cancel four international flights after about a 100 pilots called in “sick” late on Monday, in a move to mount pressure on the carrier on their demands for exclusivity in flying the Dreamliners. (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky and Archana Narayanan; editing by Malini Menon)