Air India Ltd plunged to a record net loss underscoring an intensely competitive domestic aviation market and adding strength to requires privatizing the national carrier.
The New Delhi-based carrier posted a provisional net loss of INR 8,556.35 crore in 2018-19, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told the Lok Sabha on Thursday. It had a net loss of INR 5,348.18 crore in the previous year.
Accumulated losses at Air India have swelled to about INR 69,575.64 crore within the past decade, Puri said.
Air India, which is surviving on a payer bailout, has never seen a profit since its merger with Indian Airlines in 2007-08.
Last week, Puri informed the Rajya Sabha that the airline may need to shut down if the government’s second attempt to privatize it fails.
Air India flies to a minimum of 43 cities in 31 countries, besides 55 cities within India. it is presently the only Indian airline to operate long-haul flights.
The airline presently has liabilities of nearly INR 22,000 crore
- about INR 5,000 crore outstanding to oil refiners.
- about INR 5,000 crore to private and state-run airport operators.
- about INR 8,000 crore contingent liabilities from the advance booking of tickets.
- close to INR 4,000 crore to its various other vendors.
On top of those liabilities, it owes a debt of about INR 58,000 crore, including capital and aircraft debt.
To reduce the debt burden on Air India, the govt. has transferred around INR 29,464 crore to Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle meant to park a number of the airline’s debt not backed by any asset, non-core assets, and other non-operational assets.
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