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How much is Air India's loss now?

Last updated on: November 19, 2010 09:32 IST

How much is Air India's loss now?

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National carrier Air India on Thursday said its loss has come down by 23 per cent to Rs 5,551 crore (Rs 55.51 billion) in 2009-10 from Rs 7,189 crore (Rs 71.89 billion) in the previous financial year.

"The net loss of the company has decreased to Rs 5,551 crore in 2009-10. In 2008-09, it was Rs 7,189 crore," the airline said in a statement, after its Board approved the audited financial results for 2009-10.

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Image: Air India's mascot.

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The operating loss of the company declined by 39 per cent at Rs 3,472 crore (Rs 34.72 billion) in 2009-10 from Rs 5,672 crore (Rs 56.72 billion) in the previous fiscal, the statement added.

Increase in passenger load factor (PLF), which was 64.8 per cent in 2009-10, was one of the main reasons in reducing the net loss, the airline said.

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Image: Interiors of an AI aircraft.
Photographs: Reuters.
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In 2008-09, the national carrier had a PLF of 59.5 per cent.

The independent directors, who attended the Board meeting on Thursday, were former Chief of Air Staff Fali Homi Major, FICCI Secretary General Amit Mitra and Harsh Neotia of the Ambuja Group.

The Board also took note of the implementation of an IT platform for Air India which would provide a single code for the merged carrier.

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Image: Air India.
Photographs: Reuters.
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The codes have been different for the two erstwhile carriers -- 'IC' for Indian Airlines and 'AI' for Air India, so far. A single code and upgradation of the IT platform is an essential requirement for the national carrier joining the global umbrella body of premier airlines called the Star Alliance.

As a result of several cost-cutting measures, the airline's total expenditure decreased by eight per cent from Rs 20,668 crore (Rs 206.68 billion) to Rs 19,035 crore (Rs 190.35 billion), though its total revenue remains almost stagnant, the official figures showed.

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In the first 6 months of this financial year (2010-11), the passenger load factor has gone up by 8 per cent to about 67.1 per cent while the passenger revenue of the airline was at Rs 1,034 crore (Rs 10.34 billion).

Its revenues from cargo operations was Rs 140 crore (Rs 1.4 billion)during April-September. In the backdrop of declining losses, the airline expects that the government would consider infusing further equity of Rs 1,200 crore (Rs 12 billion), after having given it Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) in February.

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The second tranche of government funds, to be released after a nod from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, is likely to be used for settling outstanding dues and not to enhance the airline's equity base.

It also hopes to get the Reserve Bank of India's approval for its debt restructuring. Air India has an estimated debt burden of Rs 18,000 crore (Rs 180 billion) which it wants to recast into low- interest debt.

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Image: Air India's ticketing counter.
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