Large billboards have been obstructing the take-off path of Mumbai airport runway, leading Air India to suffer an estimated Rs ten crore loss per month on its Mumbai-Newark flight as it has been carrying 51 passengers less than the total capacity.
"Obstacles like hoardings, poles etc in the take off path of the runway at Mumbai airport have created operational constraints, leading to the Air India flight on Mumbai-Newark sector being operated with 51 passengers less than the capacity," Minister of State for Civil Aviation G M Siddeshwara said in Lok Sabha.
He said the loss in revenue due to less carriage of passengers is estimated at about Rs 10 crore per month.
As the take off path is shorter, planes are forced to reduce their passenger load as they need more thrust to clear the high billboards.
Air India had taken up the matter with the Airports Authority of India "who have removed some of the obstacles and revised the elevation of a few obstacles. This has resulted in some benefit to Air India," he said.
To another question, Siddeshwara said the national carrier has entered into a sale and leaseback arrangement for seven out of 16 of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, while the remaining aircraft have been acquired under a short-term bridge financing facility by various Indian and foreign banks.
Sale and leaseback is a financial transaction, where one sells an asset and leases it back for the long-term. Hence, one continues to operate the asset without owning it.
The airline has also signed a Delay Compensation Agreement with Boeing in September 2012 for delayed delivery of this plane.
Air India has also dry leased five Airbus A-320 planes from China Aircraft Leasing Company for 12 years. Two more tenders for dry lease were issued in April this year and the bids received would be finalised in due course, he said.