Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said that the financially crippled state-run carrier was showing some signs of recovery as the airline showed a cash surplus of Rs 48 crore in April-July quarter of this fiscal, this is the first time since 2007 (when Air India and Indian Airlines were merged) the airline recorded cash surplus.
Speaking at the Economic Editors Conference, Singh said the airline’s net losses were down Rs 577 crore when compared with the last year’s numbers. The airline which was pushed down to fourth position among the five domestic carriers by way of market share, had also gained on the passenger load factor.
“Passenger load factor has improved from 69.8 to 71.8 per cent and on-time performance gone up from 69 to 86 per cent.
In spite of a decline in capacity by over 17 per cent due to strike by Air India pilots the airline registered a 6.5 per cent growth during April-August as compared to the corresponding period the previous year,”
The minister also pointed out that the aircraft usage of Air India had also gone up from 5.9 hours per day to nearly 11 hours now.
Speaking to reporters on the sideline of the event Air India CMS, Rohit Nandan said that with six new Dreamliners joining the Air India fleet, the airline will fly these aircraft on international sectors including those in Europe, Japan, Australia and Gulf nations.
Regarding action against the striking pilots, the Minister said out of 413, 400 pilots had been reinstated of which 316 have started flying and the rest were in various stages of training.