AI passenger revenue rises 24 pc during April-August

AI passenger revenue rises 24 pc during April-August

New Delhi: Air India recorded a 24 % increase in passenger revenue during April-August compared to the same period last year and the national carrier expects to show positive gross earnings by the end of this fiscal if this trend in revenue and yields is maintained.

There was a sharp Rs830 crore rise in the cash-strapped airline’s passenger revenue reflecting a growth of 24 % during the period under comparison, AI officials said on Thursday, citing latest data.

Air India’s international yields went up by 13.6 % while the domestic yields grew by 14.9 %, the figures showed.

The airline’s international revenue went up by nearly Rs545 crore reflecting a jump of 32 %, while domestic revenue rose by Rs290 crore or a 16 % growth. The operational performance in fiscal 2009-10 improved by 36 % as against the previous year.

Air India officials said if the current trend continued, the airline planned to ramp up Rs2,000 crore worth of additional revenue in 2010-11.

If Rs1,200 crore equity support by the government came on time, it is expected that the airline would have a positive EBIDTA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) by March next year, they said.

The figures showed that the airline’s passenger load factor saw a marked improvement with international loads going up to 67 % as against 60.7 % last year and the domestic load factor increasing by 70 % compared to 66 % last year. The overall load factor grew by 8.2 %.

The officials said a number of initiatives, as part of the restructuring plans, had led to improved operational performance, including improved aircraft utilisation in the Summer of 2010 as compared to last Winter.

The number of routes showing cash profits improved due to route rationalisation and capacity adjustments, they claimed and added that dismantling of the international hub at Frankfurt and launch of the T3 hub at Delhi was likely to result in annual benefit of Rs1,000 crore in 2010-11.

With the current fuel costs estimated at Rs5,500 crore per annum, implementation of various fuel efficiency measures had led to savings of Rs220 crore in 2009-10. These measures are likely to bring about a saving of approximately of up to 5 % in fuel costs, the officials said.

Return of 13 leased aircraft since last year, phasing out of old fleet and introduction of latest generation aircraft in domestic and international routes also led to considerable savings, they said.