Air India may register Rs5,000 crore loss for 2008-09: Patel

New Delhi: Flag carrier Air India is expected to announce losses of around Rs5,000 crore for the fiscal 2008-09 due to  operating losses, high oil prices and debt servicing according to a government statement in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of parliament. The Government is also contemplating capital infusion by way of equity and soft loans for the carrier.

The statement also said the carrier has adopted various measures to improve its financial position, including rescheduling/cancellation of future aircraft delivery, rationalisation of routes, manpower and incentives to employees.

"National Aviation Company India Ltd (NACIL) expects to register a loss of approximately Rs5000 crore in 2008-09," minister of state for civil aviation Praful Patel said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.

"The losses have been largely due to operating losses, which have been compounded due to the present economic recession as also the high oil prices last year and debt servicing on new aircraft," he said.

The airlines has piled up losses of Rs7,200 crore as on 31 March 2009.

The minister said NACIL has initiated steps like integration and restructuring of network and schedules, fuel efficiency improvement measures and extended credit period for all vendors.

It has also put on hold promotions and recruitments. The staff has been asked to travel only economy class apart from measures for restructuring of loans and credits, the minister said.