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Govt officials to travel only by AI

Air India received a much needed helping hand with the Finance Ministry on Monday instructing that all air travel on official account, both domestic and international, must be done through the national carrier only.

india Updated: Jul 14, 2009 01:08 IST
HT Correspondent

Air India received a much needed helping hand with the Finance Ministry on Monday instructing that all air travel on official account, both domestic and international, must be done through the national carrier only.

“It has been decided that in all cases of air travel, both domestic and international, where the Government of India bears the cost of air passage, officials concerned may travel only by Air India,” the ministry said in an official memorandum.

For travels to stations not connected by AI, officials have been asked to travel by the government-owned air carrier to the point closest to their destination “beyond which they may utilise the services of another airline, which should preferably be an alliance partner of AI”.

“These orders will also apply to officials in autonomous bodies funded by the Government of India,” it added.

The ministry said that if there is deviation from these orders because of operational or other reason or on account of non-availability, individual cases may be referred to the Civil Aviation Ministry for relaxation.

AI has been facing a financial crunch for the past few years.

As per provisional estimates the National Aviation Company of India, formed after the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007, is expected to register a loss of approximately Rs 5,000 crore in 2008-09 due to high operating expenses.