As the latest attempt to privatise Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) approaches, its management has introduced cost-cutting measures to strengthen the company's financial standing, senior officials at the carrier have told the Economic Times newspaper.

One initiative puts a larger aircraft on the Delhi Int'l-London Heathrow route and a smaller Dreamliner between Delhi and Washington Dulles, a move that will save about INR1 billion rupees (USD14 million) per year, they said.

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, Air India currently flies 14x weekly from Delhi to London, which consists of both a 7x weekly service with a B787-8 and 7x weekly with a B777-300(ER). It also operates to Heathrow 7x weekly from Mumbai Int'l, 4x weekly from Ahmedabad, and 3x weekly from Bangalore Int'l. To Washington, it currently deploys a B787-8, 3x weekly.

Another idea has been to move to a single Global Distribution System (GDS), Travelport, for domestic bookings since January 1, which will cut costs by an estimated INR5.19 billion (USD73 million) in 2020. The carrier also expects to save more than INR1.2 billion (USD16.9 million) with the launch of new destinations to strengthen its network of existing routes, the officials added.

“These initiatives are set to add to our balance sheet,” stressed Vinod Hejmadi, director of finance at Air India. “We have added nine new routes [...] and have converted one stopover route to direct [to Seoul Incheon]. All of these have been launched with the same fleet, only by utilising them more and putting them back in the air from being on the ground.”

Hejmadi elaborated that Air India had recently completed repairs on nine long-haul aircraft that had been awaiting funding for spare parts and was now returning them to scheduled service. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, two of the airline's four B747-400s, one of its thirteen B777-300(ER)s, and one of its twenty-seven B787-8s remain in maintenance.

Editorial Comment: Adjusted summary of stored widebody aircraft. - 24.01.2020 - 05:20 UTC