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Air India, Press Information Bureau

Air India: Ajit Singh Suggests Cost Cutting Measures to Bridge the Gap Between Cash Inflow and Outflow

Press Information Bureau, December 20, 2012: Union Minister of Civil Aviation Shri Ajit Singh today reviewed in detail the functioning of Air India which included revenue generation and cash flow management, status of implementation of Computerized Management System for Pilots and Cabin Crew, Status of operations of B-787 and other matters envisaged in the TAP/ FRP.
Shri Singh expressed concern over the estimated monthly average cash flows of Air India for the period October-March of the current Financial Year which shows a net shortfall of Rs. 404 Crores per month with inflows being at Rs. 1348 Crores and outflows estimated to be Rs. 1752 Crores. He said that though there is an overall improvement in the performance of Air India, it is important that the revenue generated should meet the costs incurred. The Minister asked Air India to go into minute operational details to cut the costs including costs incurred on overseas offices, salaries, fuel and office expenses. The Minister directed to examine the necessity of deputing staff abroad for assisting Air India/ embassies for ticketing etc since now- a-days these facilities are available online. He further asked Air India to negotiate with public sector oil marketing companies for the same discount as they are providing to international and domestic carriers. The Minister said that Air India should think out of the box to change its image of being a public sector unit and transform it to a commercial organization.
While noting that three B-787 Dreamliner aircrafts have been received and five more will be received during the current financial year, which the Air India plans to fly to Sydney, Melbourne & Singapore, Shri Ajit Singh asked to explore possibility of flying also to Indonesia including Bali and Istanbul and beyond.
Air India informed that the Crew Management System (Auto Roster) will be operational for pilots by the next month and for cabin crew by February-March next year. The new system is an algorithm that automates the task of Flight Duty Assignments based on user defined rules, policies, parameters and constraints. Auto-Roster aims to equalize the flying hours (for past period or the roster period), sector flown (number of times and last date flown), day & night flights (diurnal distribution), flight operations type (domestic, regional, international), crew pairing rotation, number of landings and other user-defined parameters.
The Minister also expressed concern about On Time Performance (OTP) of Air India and asked for taking all steps to improve it. He said priority should be given for providing adequate training to pilots and optimally utilizing the maximum allowed duty hours as he is still getting complaints in this regard.
The review meeting also discussed the need to screen the employees including the cabin crew on various parameters such as medical fitness.
Shri Singh expressed satisfaction over the payment of salaries to the employees till November, 2012. He stressed on regular payment of salaries to the employees by a fixed cut-off date. He said that out of Rs. 2000 crores which Air India is to receive next month in the form of equity as budgetary support, Rs. 500 Crores must be utilized to clear all arrears of the employees.

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