Worst over, Air India on the path of recovery: Praful Patel

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New Delhi, Apr 13 (ANI): Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel on Tuesday said the worst is over for Air India and its losses have begun to show a declining trend.

Patel said earlier the losses were in the average of Rs 400 crore per month, which has now begun to come down by at least Rs 100 crore per month.

"The carrier would get an additional 12 billion rupees in the current fiscal as announced in the budget," he added.

"The government has given the first tranche of 800 crores equity. Another 1200 crore equity will be available to Air India in this current fiscal, provided in the budget already. Besides this the traffic figures are looking better, yields are slightly higher," said Patel on the sidelines of the US-India Business Council meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi.

"They have retired a lot of their leased aircrafts and are going to further do so. I think all these measures will certainly mean that the Air India's problems, the worst is over and it would be certainly on the path of recovery," he added.

Patel further said that Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh would inaugurate terminal three at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport on July 3 as per schedule.

Patel had last month said in the Rajya Sabha that Air India would incur losses of around 1.8 billion in the current fiscal.

The Central Government approved the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines in 2007.

The carrier recorded a loss of 445.2 million dollars in 2007-08 and 1.11 billion dollars in 2008-09. (ANI)

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