Friday, January 24, 2020

Air India's net loss narrows in April-December period helped by debt transfer, aircraft recovery

As the aviation industry awaits the preliminary information memorandum on the government's divestment plan for Air India, the airline's earnings for the April-December period showed that the national carrier is trying to revive its growth engine.

Despite a substantial loss of revenue due to closure of Pakistan airspace during 2019, the airline has been able to post an improvement in 9-month earnings, largely due to the recovery of several wide-body aircraft which were grounded earlier for want of maintenance, sources said.

The airline's net loss narrowed by 46 percent year-over-year, while the yield rose by 6.7 percent, CNBC-TV18 has learnt. Passenger revenue grew by 14.7 percent Y-o-Y to around Rs 17,320 crore with passenger carrying capacity or ASK (Available Seat Kilometers) rising by 4.9 percent.

The seat factor rose by 2.6 percent. Cargo revenue also advanced by 10 percent during the April-December period to Rs 1,208 crore.

Overall, Air India was able to narrow its operating loss to Rs 1,040 crore during the 9-month period as compared to Rs 1,960 crore in the same period last year.

The airline has also posted better operating performance, with EBITDA turning positive at Rs 460 crore as compared to negative EBITDA figures last year.

"We have been able to recover most of our wide-body aircraft...the figure is more than eight, including two B777, 5-6 B787 and two B747. We have deployed the jumbo aircraft on domestic metro routes. This has largely helped us in showing a substantial improvement in our operations," a person aware of the development said.
24/01/20 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18
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