The national carrier has started approaching Indian banks and public sector undertakings for disposal of these properties including floorspace in prime locations, airline officials said.

They said the Indian High Commissions at these places have also been approached to help the airline find suitable buyers for the assets.

The plan to monetise real estate assets is an important ingredient of Air India's financial restructuring and turnaround plans, under which the airline aims to raise an estimated Rs 5,000 crore over a period of ten years, with an annual target of Rs 500 crore from 2013-14 onwards.

The airline has already chalked out plans to monetise its unutilised or surplus immovable assets over the next few years, the officials said, adding properties in several cities including Delhi and Mumbai are already in the process of either being sold, or leased or rented out.

Air India was also exploring other avenues for generating ancillary revenues, including leasing out space in some of its booking offices for banks to install ATM outlets.

The airline plans to start with leasing out office space in Delhi and Mumbai, and then extending it to cities in South India, the officials said.

As part of reducing distribution and marketing costs, the national carrier was also looking at enhancing its revenue through web-sales which at present contributes up to 20 per cent of its total sales.

To push up online business, discounts were also offered for a short while on web-sales on international sectors.


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