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Air India cuts losses in FY14, government says no proposal to privatise

The Indian government has ruled out any plans to privatise the national carrier Air India Limited and pointed out that the financial parameters of the airline have improved steadily since 2012 when its turnaround plan was approved.

“No proposal to privatise Air India is under consideration with the government at present,” minister of state for civil aviation GM Siddeshwara said on Tuesday in the Rajya Sabha.

The government had approved a turnaround plan and restructuring of Air India in 2012. As per the plan, the government made an equity infusion of Rs 6,000 crore (provisional) in fiscal 2013-14; Rs 6,000 crore in fiscal 2012-13 and Rs 1,200 crore in 2011-12.

Meanwhile, the carrier has reduced both its operational and net loss over the last two fiscals. Its net loss has come down to Rs 5,389 crore in the fiscal ended on March 31, 2014 compared with a net loss of Rs 5,490 crore in the year-ago period and Rs 7,559.74 crore in FY12. Also, the operating losses of the carrier dropped to Rs 2,124 crore in fiscal 2013-14 from Rs 3,807 crore in the previous fiscal and Rs 5,140.74 crore in FY12.

From an EBITDA perspective the airlines is estimated to have ended FY14 with Rs 771 crore against Rs 192 crore in FY13.

Operating revenue of the national carrier was at Rs 19,170.38 crore last financial year compared with Rs 16,027.84 crore in the previous fiscal. Cargo revenue grew by over Rs 345 crore.

Last year its passenger load factor (average seats per aircraft filled) increased to 73.6 per cent from 72.4 per cent in the year-ago period.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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