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Coronavirus outbreak: Air India unveils steps to cut costs

Air India on Wednesday announced several cost-cutting measures to ensure it remains afloat, as countries close their borders to international travellers and people cancel travel plans due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

India’s national carrier has withdrawn executive entertainment allowance of executive pilots and reduced layover and subsistence allowances of cabin crew. Also, fuelreimbursement of all officers has been cut by 10 per cent, executive director for finance SK Singh said in a letter to employees.

On Tuesday, GoAir had asked employees to go on rotational leave without pay, as the coronavirus crisis led to flight cancellations. “Keeping in view the financial position of the company in the wake of recent global development, a need is felt to take steps to contain costs as far as possible. Airlines allover the world are taking steps in this regard, with a few having taken very aggressive actions,” Singh said in the letter to employees. While the estimated cost savings from this move was not available, people in the know said those might not be huge.

Air India has cancelled several international flights to Europe including the UK, after New Delhi earlier this week put a ban on people from these places to enter India until the end of March.