The Indian airline industry suffered a total operating loss of over Rs 5,840 crore (Rs 58.40 billion), including over Rs 3,159 crore (Rs 31.59 billion) of Air India, in 2012-13, Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
However, the losses to Air India as well as the private carriers have shown a declining trend since 2009-10 till 2012-13.
IndiGo was the only airline to have reported profits during this period, barring 2011-12 when it made a loss of about Rs 88 crore (Rs 880 million), Minister of State for Civil Aviation G M Siddeshwara said in reply to questions.
Air India's operating loss was Rs 3,373 crore (Rs 33.73 billion) in 2009-10, Rs 4,087 crore (Rs 40.87 billion) in 2010-11, Rs 5,537 crore (Rs 55.37 billion) in 2011-12 and Rs 3,159 crore (Rs 31.59 billion) in 2012-13.
The private carriers -- Jet Airways, JetLite, SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo and now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines – reported a total loss of Rs 3,733 crore (Rs 37.33 billion) in 2009-10, Rs 2,902 crore (Rs 29.02 billion) in 2010-11, shot up to Rs 7,272 crore (Rs 72.72 billion) in 2011-12 and again slided to Rs 2,682 crore (Rs 26.82 billion) in 2012-13.
Asked whether the entry of new airlines would put additional financial stress on the existing carriers' earnings, he said it was "too early" to asses the impact of new carriers joining the industry.
He said the government had taken corrective measures including allowing external commercial borrowings for working capital for a period of one year, with a total ceiling of $one billion.
It had also allowed investment by foreign airlines in Indian carriers. While trying to persuade states to reduce value added tax on jet fuel, the Centre was also considering tax concessions for aircraft parts, testing equipment for MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) industry, he said.