AI registers loss of Rs 1791 crore in 1st quarter of this fiscal

"The losses during the first quarter of 2010-11 are Rs 1791.38 crore. Air India has incurred losses to the tune of Rs 2,226.16 crore, Rs 5,548.26 crore and 5,552.44 crore during 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10 respectively," Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.

The airline has incurred losses mainly on account of increase in fuel prices, increase in interest and depreciation costs, increase in wage bill and increase in leasing and maintenance cost, he added.

The Minister said that the government has infused a sum of Rs 800 crore during 2009-10 and Rs 1,200 crore during 2010-11 as equity in Air India, as it was passing through a tight financial and liquidity crunch.

The national carrier's total revenue has increased by 20 per cent as compared to the corresponding period of 2009-10. In reply to the another question, Ravi said that since the airline was passing through tight financial and liquidity crunch which made it difficult to meet several of its liabilities, so payment of salary were getting delayed. "Accordingly, payment of salaries to its employees in April 2011 may also be affected or delayed," Ravi said.

One of the Air India's pilots' union, Indian Commercial Pilot's Association (ICPA) -- an association pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines, has sent notice to airline management threatening them about its members deciding to go on a strike from March 9 if management fails to resolve their issues.

Ravi said that the turnaround plan for the company was being vetted by an independent aviation consultant. "Besides, operational restructuring, the turnaround plan includes financial restructuring for which SBI Caps have been appointed as advisors," he said.

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