New Delhi: Disinvestment-bound Air India Ltd registered around 11% growth in revenue, as the airline’s fiscal and performance parameters were good in the last financial year, according to its chief Pradeep Singh Kharola.
The loss-making national carrier also recorded 80% passenger load factor in 2017-18 amid the government preparing for its strategic disinvestment.
Kharola on Thursday said the performance parameters of the airline had been good in the last financial year. The load factor was around 80% and revenue growth was in the range of 11%, he added. “... the financials are being firmed up but fiscal parameters have been good (in 2017-18)," the chairman and managing director said.
In 2016-17, the airline raked in total revenue of Rs22,177.68 crore compared to Rs20,610.33 crore in the same period a year ago, as per the annual report. About the carrier’s On-Time Performance (OTP) in the last fiscal, Kharola said there has been a “marked improvement" on an year-on-year basis. He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference.
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On 28 March, the government came out with the preliminary information memorandum for the strategic disinvestment of Air India, wherein it plans to offload 76% as well as cede management control to private players.
In February, the civil aviation ministry said Air India has been “consistently improving" its overall performance and more than doubled its operating profit to Rs298.03 crore in 2016-17. During the same period, the airline’s net loss widened to Rs5,765.16 crore.
In 2015-16, Air India had an operating profit of ₹ 05 crore, while net loss stood at ₹ 3,836.77 crore. “Air India has been consistently improving its overall financial and operational performance since the implementation of the turnaround plan by the government," minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha had told the Lok Sabha on 8 February.
The previous UPA government in 2012 had approved a turnaround plan under which Air India is to receive a total equity infusion worth Rs30,231 crore up to 2021 subject to meeting certain performance thresholds. As part of the plan, Air India has been taking various measures, including rationalisation of routes and enhanced utilisation of aircraft.
According to the preliminary information memorandum, issued on 28 March, the government will retain 24% stake in Air India and the winning bidder would be required to stay invested in the airline for at least three years.
The proposed disinvestment would include profit-making Air India Express and joint venture AISATS. The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singapore-based SATS Ltd.