• Air India losses to come down to Rs 2,636 cr: Government

    National carrier Air India is expected to trim losses by more than half to Rs 2,636 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal as compared to a net loss of Rs 5,859.91 crore in 2014-15, the government said today.

    “With regard to Air India Limited, it is likely to suffer a total net loss of Rs 2,636 crore in 2015-16,” said Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma in a written reply in Lok Sabha.

    Sharma said the airline has been facing losses in the past years due to multitude of factors.

    He said high interest cost and airport charges, increasing competition, particularly from budget carriers, coupled with exchange rate variation due to weakening of Indian rupee are reasons for the carrier’s estimated net loss (of Rs 2,636 crore) during 2015-16.

    Air India had reported losses of Rs 5,859.91 crore in the fiscal ended March 31, 2015.

    The national carrier was given a Rs 30,231-crore lifeline by the Finance Ministry in 2012 under a turnaround plan stretching over a period of nine years to keep it afloat.

    This equity infusion also includes the financial support towards repayment of principal as well as interest on government-guaranteed loans taken for aircraft acquisition by the airline.

    As per the 2012 Turn Around Plan (TAP), the government will infuse Rs 18,929 crore for repayment of government- guaranteed loans/interest till FY 2010-21, Sharma said.

    The minister also informed the House that till March this year, the government has already infused Rs 22,280 crore into the carrier as part of the bailout package.

    Air India has also discharged of all its aircraft loans and interest liabilities by the last fiscal, he said, adding that the government has already approved Rs 1,713 crore equity infusion into the carrier for the current fiscal in line with TAP. Antonio Brown Jersey

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