The Air India (AI) museum is likely to be inaugurated in the first half of next year, a senior AI official said. The museum, which will contain some of the rarest art work in the national carrier’s collection, is expected to be opened by January next year. While the deadline for the project was August 15 this year, the inauguration was delayed due to a fund crunch. The museum, to be housed on the first floor of the AI building in Nariman Point, requires a funding of at least Rs 5 crore.
“We are now eyeing a deadline of January next year for starting the museum. We are collecting funds from various sources. The department of culture, specifically, is helping us with money,” said Mukesh Bhatia, executive director, Western region, AI. Senior AI officials said the department will aid the airline with 70-80% of the total funds required to set up the infrastructure for the museum. The total funds to be given by the department will be decided by the end of the month.
“In an effort to promote cultural variety, which the artefacts inside the museum will display, the department has agreed to aid us. They have agreed to help us out as far as preservation of non-tangible assets are concerned,” a senior AI official said. The AI also plans to borrow money from various sources. “Preservation of the artefacts and establishment cost will require the maximum share of money. After the museum is set up, advertising and merchandising of the artefacts could help raise funds,” the official added.
The airline faces a debt of Rs 50,000 crore. “Our recently launched Delhi-Stockholm flight, Dreamliner Boeing 787, are running with an almost full capacity. We performed better on passenger revenue this financial quarter than the last two business quarters. Vacation season has contributed to this,” a senior AI official said. The airline plans to save as much as Rs 20 crore per year by serving vegetarian food to economy class passengers on the domestic sector. It is also looking to earn as much as Rs 5,000 crore by selling property it owns.
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