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NACIL continues with heavy losses

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MUMBAI (PTI): Around 80 per cent of the Rs-5,548 crore losses posted by the National Aviation Company of India last financial year are on account of interest payment on borrowings, depreciation and lease rentals.

"NACIL posted a loss of Rs 5,548 crore in the last financial year. Interest payment, depreciation and lease rentals account for almost 80 per cent of this loss," informed sources told PTI here.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had last week said that NACIL, Air India's holding company, was expected to incur a loss of approximately Rs 5,400 crore during the year 2009-10 and that "the trend of losses is likely to continue for few more years."

While interest payments accounted for Rs 1,665 crore, depreciation amounted to Rs 1,090 crore, the sources said. In addition, the company paid Rs 1,000 crore towards lease rentals during 2008-09, the source added.

Interest payments and depreciation accounted for 67-68 per cent of the total losses while lease rentals made up for another 12 per cent, they said.

The sources said the airline was estimating that during the current financial year, interest payments on borrowings are likely to rise to around Rs 2,400 crore and depreciation to about Rs 1,400 crore, against the current levels of Rs 1,665 crore and Rs 1,090 crore respectively.

"Besides, Air India will have to make payment of Rs 22,000 crore for aircraft deliveries this year, against Rs 12,000 crore last year," the source said.

NACIL has placed orders for 111 aircraft in 2006 with Boeing and Airbus, valuing around Rs 44,000 crore.

It has so far taken delivery of 74 aircraft, of which 35 are from Boeing and 39 from Airbus.

NACIL's aircraft acquisition programme had come under criticism by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, headed by CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

"The Committee is of the opinion that NACIL should review its aircraft acquisition programme in view of its financial conditions, changing commercial dynamics and the demand and supply in the market," it said.

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