Wing and prayer: Air India to seek Rs7,200 cr budget support

Air India, the country's 'national carrier' that has long been a drain on the exchequer, is likely to seek budgetary support of Rs7,200 crore for 2014-15, according to a report citing an unnamed AI source.

Upbeat over its recent entry into the Star Alliance, a global alliance of 26 international carriers, the airline – which is airborne only on taxpayers' money – is confident of turning profitable by 2018. AI's entry into Star Alliance should see its revenue increase by 5 per cent, according to the source cited by Hindustan Times.

The government had promised to pump Rs30,231 crore into the bleeding carrier by 2021, out of which AI has already received Rs12,200 crore up till January this year.

The airline has managed to bring down its aircraft acquisition loan from Rs22,000 crore to Rs18,000 crore.