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International flights bleed loss-ridden Air India

business Updated: May 27, 2015 02:49 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Air India

International operations are bleeding Air India (AI) heavily, and the national carrier looks set to post another large loss in the year ended March.

AI incurred a loss of around Rs 3,900 crore on its international operations for the period April 2014-January 2015, according to an internal route economics done by the airline.

Eleven key international flights, including those operated using the brand new fuel efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners, were found meeting the fuel costs, but not the variable costs.

On its flights to Australia, which are serviced by the 787, AI lost over Rs 300 crore. On flights to Rome and Milan, another route on which AI uses the 787, the airline lost over Rs 150 crore during the first ten months of 2014-15.

“As of date, we do not have any routes not covering fuel costs. All routes cover fuel costs,” said an AI spokesperson.

On the Ahmedabad-Mumbai-Newark route, the airline lost more than Rs 430 crore, while on Amritsar-Delhi-Birmingham it had incurred a loss of over Rs 120 crore. AI also incurred losses on its flights to London, Paris and Frankfurt. Only on three international sectors did AI meet the total cost of operations.

AI is in the midst of implementing a government-funded turnaround plan. Already about Rs 18,000 crore has been infused into the loss-making carrier.

Aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation estimates that AI will post a loss $900 million (about Rs 5,724 crore) to a $1 billion in 2014-15.