Air India optimistic of posting cash profits this fiscal: CMD

Ashwini Phadnis
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Mr Rohit Nandan
Mr Rohit Nandan

The state-owned Air India could make a cash profit this fiscal, airline’s Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan said on Wednesday. If it happens, it will be the first time since 2007, he added.

Positive outlook

“Despite the grounding of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners since January and a two-month strike by pilots last year, we expect to be EBIDTA positive (Earning Before Interest Depreciation Tax and Amortisation). We hope to declare a net profit before 2018,” Nandan said.

Between April and January this fiscal, Air India’s revenue from passengers increased 8.3 per cent, load factor (number of occupied seats on an aircraft) increased to 71.8 per cent from 68.5 per cent, yield (revenue per passenger per km) was up 19.2 per cent and number of passengers carried was higher by 3.4 per cent, officials said.

Boeing compensation

On whether Air India was eligible for compensation from Boeing for the recent grounding of Dreamliner aircraft, the airline chief said, “We have the understanding that we will be compensated.”

He, however, declined to give details of the financial loss incurred by the airline due to the grounding of the six Boeing 787. When the aircraft was in operation, it earned a revenue of Rs 2 crore a day for the airline.

Air India grounded its six Boeing 787 on January 17, after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation received a communication from the US watchdog, Federal Aviation Administration, pointing to problems with the battery on the aircraft.

(This article was published on February 20, 2013)
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