Visakhapatnam: State-owned Air India will get around Rs. 3,000 crore more in the later part of this fiscal from the Government towards capital infusion and the ailing carrier is expected to make operational profits from the next financial year, a top official of the Ministry of Civil Aviation said.
V Somasundaram, Secretary of Ministry of Civil Aviation also said there is no proposal to build a Greenfield airport at cyclone-hit Visakhapatnam.
“Air India has a turnaround plan, under which a little over Rs. 6,000 crore has to be infused this year. I think more than half of that has been given already. Another around Rs. 3,000 crore will be infused by the end of the financial year,” Somasundaram told PTI during his recent visit to Visakhapatnam.
National carrier Air India, which is sitting on a huge debt pile, is surviving on the Rs. 30,000-crore government bailout package announced by the Government earlier.
“The problem was they (Air India) had lot of uneconomical routes and lot of loss-making operations. So during the last two to two-and-half years these have been reduced. They have been successful in bringing down the loss substantially. And by 2015 they are expecting to be profitable, that is next financial year,” the official said replying to query on the operational profits of the air lines.
Air India recently became part of the global airlines' grouping, Star Alliance, which would enable seamless travel to over 1,300 destinations for the national carrier's passengers.
Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had earlier told reporters that Air India's revenues may increase by 4-5 per cent by joining the Alliance.
On reports that the Government is mulling setting up a new airport at Visakhapatnam, Somasundaram said there were no such plans as of now.
He said setting up a Greenfield airport depends on the passenger traffic and revenues and at present Visakhapatnam did not fit the bill.
A senior official of Visakhapatnam airport, which handles 20 flights a day, said it witnessed nearly one million passengers last year.
The Airport was damaged due to cyclone ‘Hudhud' and had to suspend operations for four days before partially resuming functions for commercial aircraft.