Aviation minister Ajit Singh has asked state-owned carrier Air India (AI) to think “out of the box” to change its image of being a public sector unit and transform itself into a commercial organisation.
Singh, who took a review meeting of AI on Thursday, asked the airline to explore possibility of flying the premium Dreamliners to Bali, Istanbul and beyond.
AI has received three Dreamliners and five more will be received during the current financial year, which it plans to depute on Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore sectors.
The minister expressed concern over the estimated monthly average cash flows of AI for the October-March period in 2012 that shows a net shortfall of Rs. 404 crore per month with inflows at Rs. 1,348 crore and outflows estimated to be Rs. 1,752 crore.
“The minister asked AI to go into minute operational details to cut the costs including costs incurred on overseas offices, salaries, fuel and office expenses. He directed AI to examine the necessity of deputing staff abroad for assisting embassies for ticketing etc. since these facilities are available online,” a ministry statement said.
The airline was told to utilise Rs. 500 crore out of the Rs. 2,000 crore it will receive next month from government to clear arrears of the employees.