Committee set up for rationalisation of Air India's routes

Civil aviation minister Ajit Singh today announced the setting up of a committee to examine route profitability of Air India and make its recommendations to rationalise the same, keeping in view the overall objective of profitability.

The decision was taken after a ministerial review following discussions on the flights/services being provided by Air India on a number of domestic as well as international routes, which are non-profitable.

Flights/services on these routes either do not meet even cost of fuel or meet fuel cost but not operational cost while some flights/services meet operational cost but not meeting total cost.

This needs to be examined objectively keeping in view the profitability as the most important objective (except for mandatory areas as per route dispersal guidelines), the minister said.

The committee headed by civil aviation joint secretary G Ashok Kumar will have civil aviation director Syed Nasir Ali, AAI operations executive director C C Sharma and DGCA director general Lalit Gupta as members.

Air India management will provide all data and logistic support to the committee.

The terms of reference of the committee includes analysis of criteria for withdrawal/inclusion of routes in the Summer & Winter schedule during last year; economics of various routes: domestic as well as international during last summer & winter schedule and current summer schedule; identification of routes not able to meet out various costs and reasons for not meeting out those costs; route wise recommendations in terms of withdrawal/ continuance of flights during current summer schedule and making them profitable; and identification of parameters for new route allocation and their weightage for arriving at a decision.

 The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week's time.