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Tuesday, 12 February, 2019, 14 : 10 PM [IST]

Focus at Air India is to make all the available aircraft airborne: Board Member

Talking at the CAPA India Aviation Summit in Delhi today, Vinod Heimadi, Director Finance & Board Member, Air India, said that their focus is on consolidation and not on expansion.He said the disinvestment is on hold for the time being considering market volatility because of fuel prices and foreign exchange fluctuations. Meanwhile, the focus is to try and turn around the company by reducing losses by bringing operational efficiencies on different fronts namely distribution, catering, hospitality, etc. He said that the attempt is to go to the market with a better balance sheet. The thinking, he added is in terms of divesting the ground handling, MRO, subsidiaries, etc. before going for privatisation.

Heimadi said that they are investing in engineering to get all the grounded aircraft up and flying at the earliest and put the resources on rewarding long-haul international routes of North America and Australia.

Talking about the operational routes, Kaul said that the key metro routes are saturated and Air India being a full-service carrier has a disadvantage while competing with Lccs. Therefore the focus is to look beyond metros. He said that international routes are more rewarding and the revenues have been growing 20% year on year. Air India operates flights to 42 overseas destinations, the last one being Najaf.
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