Air India has incurred a net loss of about Rs 2,570 crore in the first quarter of 2020-21 as compared to a net loss of Rs 785 crore sustained in the corresponding period a year ago, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Thursday.
An amount of Rs 1,000 crore as loan to Air India has also been provided in the current financial year, Puri stated. "Air India Limited has been suffering continuous losses. The COVID-19 pandemic along with its related impact on aviation industry has further worsened the financial position of the company," Puri said in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
"The net loss in quarter 1 of FY20-21 is about Rs 2,570 crore as compared to loss of Rs 785 crore in quarter 1 of FY 19-20," he mentioned. In a written reply to another question in the Lok Sabha, Puri said the airline has discontinued the post-retirement contracts of 61 retired pilots in view of the company's financial condition.
Since July last year, a total of 50 Air India pilots submitted their resignations and started serving the notice period. However, they subsequently requested to withdraw their resignations. "In view of the financial condition of the company, a conscious decision was taken in August 2020 by Air India Limited to accept the resignation of all such pilots who had earlier resigned and subsequently requested for withdrawal of their resignations," Puri said on Thursday.
India's largest airline IndiGo had in July declared a net loss of Rs 2,884.3 crore for the first quarter of 2020-21. IndiGo currently has a share of around 60 per cent in the domestic air passenger market.
The aviation sector has been significantly impacted due to the travel restrictions imposed in India and other countries in view of the coronavirus pandemic. All airlines in India have taken cost-cutting measures such as pay cuts, leave without pay or firings of employees in order to conserve cash.