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Worst is over for Air India: Patel


New Delhi : Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel Tuesday said Air India has cut its losses by 25 percent and the worst is over for the national carrier.

“The worst is over for Air India. The airline has managed to bring down losses from Rs.400 crore every month to Rs.300 crore,” Patel told reporters on the sidelines of the US-India Business Council meet organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Patel had last month informed the Rajya Sabha that Air India would incur losses of around $1.8 billion (Rs.5,400 crore) this fiscal. The carrier had lost $445.2 million (Rs.2,226.16 crore) in 2007-08 and $1.11 billion (Rs.5,548 crore) in 2008-09.

Patel said the carrier will get an additional Rs.1,200 crore in the current fiscal as announced in the budget.

The government has approved equity infusion of $160 million (Rs.800 crore) for the ailing carrier in two instalments to tide over the cash flow problem and finance its fleet acquisition plans.

Patel also said that terminal three at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will be inaugurated on July 3 by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA (United Progressive Alliance) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.