NEW DELHI, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- India's national carrier Air India has described the spread of messages about its permanent closure as false propaganda circulated to destabilize the airline, officials said Saturday.
"A fake message masquerading as an official Air India notification is getting circulated online announcing that Air India is to be permanently shut down from 1st October, 2018. This is absolutely incorrect and a false propaganda hatched with a malicious intent to create confusion and destabilise Air India just when our performance graph is rising," said a statement issued by Air India, adding that "such hoax messages should be ignored and not to be circulated further."
The airlines, terming the move as "heinous anti-national acts," said they were contemplating "strictest possible legal steps against perpetrators."
Reports said the the fake notification, bearing date Aug. 25 circulated on WhatsApp on Friday night asking employees to look for alternate jobs, created panic among the staff.
Air India in June invited bids from financial institutions and banks for a loan of 148 million U.S. dollars to meet its urgent working capital requirements.
A financial crunch has hit the airline.
In May the government had attempted to sell 76 percent stake in the national carrier but it failed to attract any buyer.