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AI to lose around Rs.5,400 cr : Patel
Published on 9 Mar. 2010 10:56 PM IST
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National carrier Air India is expected to incur losses of around $1.8 billion (Rs.5,400 crore) this fiscal and the trend is likely to continue for a few more years, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Tuesday. “The trend of losses is likely to continue for a few more years,” the minister told the Rajya Sabha. He did not say when the airline would start making profits. The state-owned carrier is run by the National Aviation Co. of India Ltd (NACIL). With the expected losses of $1.8 billion (Rs.5,400 crore) in 2009-10, the carrier’s losses will mount to over $2.64 billion (Rs.13,174 crore) in three straight fiscals. The carrier had incurred a loss of $445.2 million (Rs.2,226.16 crore) in 2007-08 and $1.11 billion (Rs.5,548 crore) in 2008-09. “The airline has initiated action as part of the turnaround plan and is focusing on fleet and manpower rationalisation, route profitability, and structural changes. These plan envisages benefits of $382.2 million (Rs.1911 crore) for the current financial year,” Patel said. These initiatives taken by the airline will only result in savings of $150.6 million (Rs.753 crore) in fiscal 2010-11, he said. The minister also said the airline’s outstanding fuel dues till January end stood at $348.2 million (Rs.1741 crore). “We have asked the airlines to clear the dues expeditiously.” The airline is waiting for a cabinet nod to raise its working capital by $200 million (Rs.1,000 crore). Currently the airline’s working capital is $3.4 billion (Rs.17,000 crore). The government last month approved equity infusion of $160 million (Rs.800 crore) for the ailing carrier in two instalments. to tide over the cash flow problem and finance fleet acquisition plans.

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