Mumbai: The government will professionalize Air India at all levels—from the boardroom to management—as the debt-laden national carrier aims to grow its operations and attract passengers on the back of a slew of measures taken by its management, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said on Monday.
“To make sure that Air India works properly, we have taken a number of measures like having a very good board of directors, with distinguished industry leaders as independent directors," Prabhu said on the sidelines of an event.
“For Air India to improve its market share, a number of measures have been taken by the airline, which has resulted in growth in passengers during the last quarter," Prabhu added.
A Press Trust of India report said Air India’s passenger revenue grew by 20% on the back of better aircraft utilization during the December quarter.
The report said passenger revenue increased from ₹ 4,615 crore in the third quarter of 2017-18 to ₹ 5,538 crore in the third quarter of 2018-19.
“Air India has legacy issues as it had accumulated debt due to policies of the past, which have affected its profitability. The airline’s interest costs run into thousands of crores (of rupees). With the interest burden, there is bound to be a problem with the airline," Prabhu said.
“The aviation ministry is working with finance ministry to sort out the debt issue," Prabhu added.