Air India could fly the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes to destinations like Istanbul and Bali in addition to deploying them on Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore routes which will start operating in the next few weeks.
Five more Dreamliners are scheduled to be received by the national carrier by March next year, which would take the total to eight.
Keeping this in mind, Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh today asked Air India to explore the possibility of flying these planes to Bali, Istanbul and other cities, apart from the flights planned to Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore.
Mr Singh made the suggestion at a meeting here to review the functioning of Air India, including its revenue generation and cash flow management as part of its Turnaround and Financial Restructuring Plans.
Expressing satisfaction over the payment of salaries to the employees till November, he said that out of Rs 2,000 crore which Air India would receive next month in the form of equity as budgetary support, Rs 500 crore must be utilised to clear all arrears of the employees.
He also stressed on regularising salary payments by a fixed cut-off date, an official spokesperson said.
Expressing concern the estimated shortfall of about Rs 404 crore in the monthly average cash flow, the Minister asked the airline to try to ensure that cash inflow matched the outflow. In the ongoing financial year so far, the airline's revenue was Rs 1,348 crore and expenditure Rs 1,752 crore.
Though there was an overall improvement in its performance, it is important that the revenue generated should meet the costs incurred, the Minister said during the meeting.
He asked Air India to go into operational details to cut costs, especially on heads like its overseas offices, fuel, salaries and office expenses, the spokesperson said.