In a move to cut costs further amid financial difficulties, state-run telecom major BSNL has asked all its officers to fly by economy class on both domestic and international air travel, according to an official order. Also Read - COVID-19: With Proper Safety Measure, Air Travel Can Be Much Safer Than Eating At A Restaurant, Says Study

“Due to present financial stress of the company, all BSNL officers will now travel by economy class air journey (Domestic and International journey) while performing their official tours with immediate effect till further orders. Also Read - BSNL Recharge Plans 2020 - List of Best BSNL Recharge Plans in India in 2020

“However, with the prior approval of the CMD, BSNL, the officers may travel by higher class in case of business requirements”, the order of July 26 said. Also Read - AGR Case: Supreme Court Gives Telecom Operators 10 Years To Pay Pending Dues, 10% to Be Paid By March 31, 2021

The public sector firm recorded a provisional loss of Rs 4,859 crore in 2015-16, of Rs 4,793 crore in 2016-17 and Rs 7,993 crore in 2017-18, which is estimated to rise to Rs 14,202 crore in 2018-19, as per official data given to Parliament.

“Low tariffs due to fierce competition in the mobile segment, high staff cost and absence of 4G services (except in few places) in the data-centric telecom market are the main reasons for losses of BSNL,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had told Parliament.

Faced with the tough financial situations of both BSNL and MTNL, the government is planning a revival scheme for these companies designed to make them more competitive and professional.