Air India operational losses down 70 per cent in 9 months

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NEW DELHI: Air India has continued to improve its financial performance, reducing operational losses by 70 per cent to Rs 161crore for the first nine months of the currrent fiscal ending December 2016, aided by higher ancillary revenues and higher contribution from subsidiaries.

The airline reported a 10.6 per cent increase in operating revenues atRs 15,828 crore, according to its unaudited numbers. Its expenses increased 7.6 per cent to Rs 15,990 crore.

“The increase in revenues on the back of higher cargo and excess baggage earnings and increased contribution from subsidiaries helped Air India reduce losses by over 70 per cent during the first nine months of the current fiscal,” a senior Air India executive, who did not want to be identified, said.

The airline has to improve further to achieve its target of Rs 1,000 crore in operating profit in the current fiscal. The national carrier had, for the first time since the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, reported an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in FY16.

The performance is likely to be reviewed by the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday.

The meeting may also discuss allowing the national carrier to recruit more people and a proposal to increase the retirement age of employees to 60 from 58. This will be the PMO’s second review of Air India’s performance.