Hyderabad: Around Rs 320 crore of tax money was allocated to pay the staff and to maintain facilities for VVIP special flights. The Centre has increased its budget for VVIP air travel.
Air India maintains a Boeing 747-400 aircraft for the purpose of operating VIP flights. The government reimburses the maintenance cost to Air India. There has been a substantial increase in expenditure incurred by Air India on the maintenance.
“There has also been an overall cost increase due to rise in cost of spares, services and wages of crew and overheads. Therefore the government had to review the reimbursement and increase the funds provided to Air India,” a source said.
Data on the money spent on annual maintenance of Air India Boeing aicraft used for VIP flights shows the following trend: 2015-16: Rs 234 crore; 2016-17: Rs 252 crore; 2017-18: Rs 294 crore and 2018-19: Rs 320 crore.
According to the ministry of civil aviation the expenditure covers crew and staff salaries, insurance, depreciation and interest on borrowing.