AI hopes to show positive gross earnings by 2010-11 end

There was a sharp increase of Rs 830 crore in passenger revenue of the national carrier, reflecting a growth of 24 per cent during the five-month period this year as against the same period last year, according to latest data.

While Air India's international yields went up by 13.6 per cent, the domestic yields grew by 14.9 per cent, the figures showed.

The airline's international revenue also went up by nearly Rs 545 crore reflecting a jump of 32 per cent, while domestic revenue rose by Rs 290 crore or a 16 per cent growth. The operational performance in fiscal 2009-10 improved by 36 per cent as against the previous year.

Air India officials said if the current trend continued, the airline planned to ramp up Rs 2,000 crore worth of additional revenue in 2010-11.

If Rs 1,200 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 per cent as against 60.7 per cent last year and the domestic load factor increasing by 70 per cent compared to 66 per cent last year. The overall load factor grew by 8.2 per cent.

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 Rs 1,000 crore in 2010-11.

With the current fuel costs estimated at Rs 5,500 crore per annum, implementation of various fuel efficiency measures had led to savings of Rs 220 crore in 2009-10. These measures are likely to bring about a saving of approximately of up to five per cent 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.

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