AI evaluating insurance bids - may pay 35 per cent less this year

New Delhi: Air India expects to reduce the insurance premium cover for its fleet by more than 35 per cent for the year 2007-08, as compared to $15 million that it paid out last year.

"Although the final figures are not yet in, we are expecting over 35 per cent reduction in premium payout this year," V Thulasidas, chairman and managing director, Air India, informed the media. "The insurance cover would include the new aircraft joining the fleet during the year," he said.

A clearer picture is likely to emerge in the coming days after an internal committee of the airline examines bids received from two competing consortia. While public sector insurance companies lead one of these consortia, the other represents private sector insurance companies.

Air India has already received five new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, and is due to receive at least three more Boeing 777 aircraft by July.

A consortium of public sector insurance companies, led by New India Insurance, had won the mandate to provide insurance cover to India's flag carrier last year.