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Air India revenue up 20% at Rs 30 billion, set to increase flying hours

Press Trust of India/New Delhi 14 May 18 | 12:26 AM

Air India

Air India has recorded a 20 per cent growth in revenue in March-April 2018. The carrier has also embarked on a route-analysis exercise, focusing on increasing flying hours of its aircraft, to add more trips, Chairman and Managing Director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, said.

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The airline is focussing on improving the operational efficiency, both in the domestic and international sectors, even as it is buoyed over the load factor, on time performance and revenue growth, Kharola said.

"The revenue has increased by about 20 per cent as compared to the same period last year at roughly about Rs30 billion, though expenses continue to remain high," he said, adding the airline has benefitted from the overall growth in the aviation market.

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 He pinned high hopes on international routes, generating 70 per cent of Air India's total revenue, saying the new destinations are giving good returns.

The increase of frequency to the San Francisco route to nine a week is expected to give the airline Rs900 million a month.

According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Air India had a market share of 13.4 per cent in March 2018.

With a fleet of over 150 aircraft, Air India currently boasts of over 2,500 international prime-time slots per week in 43 destinations and 3,800 domestic slots in 54 destinations.

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Kharola, however, did not elaborate about the network-analysis exercise or the new routes the airline is eyeing, especially in the international sector.

However, he hinted the African continent promises to hold a better future for the airline.

In February, the civil aviation ministry said Air India has been "consistently improving" its overall performance and more than doubled its operating profit to Rs2.98 billion in 2016-17.

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During the same period, the airline's net loss widened to Rs 57.65 billion. In 2015-16, Air India had an operating profit of Rs 1.05 billion, while its net loss stood at Rs 38.36 billion.

The ailing airline has been put on the block with the government proposing to divest 76 per cent of its stake in the airline.

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