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Friday, 03 May, 2019, 13 : 00 PM [IST]

Air India losing INR 6 crore daily due to Pak airspace closure

According to a report in Mail Today, with every passing day, the national carrier is losing INR 6 crore on its international operations to US and Europe due to Pakistan airspace closure. This comes at a time when the airline desperately needs new funding as it is facing debt repayments to the tune ofINR  9,000 crore in the current fiscal and acute cabin crew shortage. “This is a government entity. There is nothing that we can do about it. Yes, there are daily losses to the tune of INR 6 crore but we have little control over the airspace situation. Crew shortage is being taken care of. We have recently hired 250 cabin crew from  Jet Airways,” said an Air India official. Sources within the airline expressed grave concern stating that the airline wasn’t even flying full capacity on the international routes. “Air India gets 70- 80% of the full capacity on international routes. 

It no longer has the monopoly that it once enjoyed. People have other airline options,” said an airline source. Air India has long haul (14-16 hours) flights to New York, Newark, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco. Due to the airspace closure, flights from Delhi are being routed through Omani and Iranian airspace. Air India Cabin Crew Association leader said that the current hirings from Jet Airways were like a drop in the ocean. “Yes, it is a fact that Air India is losing INR 6 crore a day. But that’s because of irrational decision making. Today, despite the huge losses, we are still operating daily flights to USA from both destianations. We haven’t learnt a thing from the past experiences. My crew shortage still remains acute,” said KVJ Rao, General Secretary, All India Cabin Crew Association. For now, the sources maintain that the national carrier hasn’t defaulted on payment to any of the concerned agencies but it needs funds at the earliest. New funds from the government will depend on the new government which takes oath. 

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