Cash-strapped national carrier Air India is expected to register a loss of Rs 5,000 crore last fiscal, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told parliament on Tuesday.
"Nacil (National Aviation Co of India Ltd, that operates Air India) is expected to register a loss of approximately Rs 5,000 crore in 2008-09, largely due to high operating expenses, which have been compounded due to the present economic recession resulting in a drop in passengers," the minister said in a reply in Rajya Sabha.
Nacil was formed in 2007 after the merger of Indian and Air India, the merged entity now being knows as just Air India.
Patel said Nacil submitted a proposal last October for equity infusion of Rs 1,231 crore and for a soft loan of Rs 2,750 crore with an interest of around five percent, which it could pay over 15 years.
"The government has advised Nacil to formulate a concrete proposal for equity infusion and provision of soft loan," he said.
The minister further said that high oil prices prevailing last year and debt on account of aircraft acquisition has also led to the losses.
The mounting losses, so far estimated at Rs 4,000 crore in 2008-09, had forced Patel to approach Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month for a Rs 10,000-crore (about $2-billion) bailout package.