India to infuse equity into Air India by March: Praful Patel

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New Delhi, Nov 13 (ANI): Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has said India will infuse equity into ailing state-run carrier Air India by March.

Talking to reporters here on Thursday, Patel said: "We are broadly looking at an equity infusion linked to monthly performance parameters. This is not the total equity infusion, which is being looked at for Air India. So, it is in a way we are also going to see how it performs on a monthly basis to be able to finally take a call at the end of March as to what will be the final support which the government will provide."

Patel said the airline would have to generate 20 billion rupees through cost cuts and revenue gains.

"We have discussed some parameters specially on revenue enhancement and cost cutting and Air India has to also perform according to certain parameters. We will be reviewing all these on a monthly basis," he added.

In October, Patel said the government would back Air India with up to 50 billion rupees if the carrier made the same amount through cost cuts and other measures, a proposal which was protested by unions.

The airline declared a loss of billion dollars in the financial year March 2009, while in September, around 400 Air India executive pilots went on mass sick leave for four days to protest pay cuts, resulting in more than 200 flights being cancelled and the airline losing more than one billion rupees. (ANI)

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