Air India Express, the low-cost arm of Air India, has reported a net profit of ₹169 crore for FY19.

The airline said in a statement its revenues grew 16.07 per cent to ₹4,202 crore from ₹3,620 in FY18. Its passenger carriage increased 12 per cent to touch 4.36 million from 3.89 million. The airline’s international carriage grew 10.5 per cent during this period. It also saw average daily aircraft utilisation increase to 13.3 hours from 12.7 hours previously.

Air India Express inducted two more aircraft and connected three more cities — Bengaluru, Kannur and Surat.

K Shyam Sundar, CEO, said the net profit earned in the fiscal is particularly significant as the aviation sector has had to face many challenges, including high input costs.

“The unit cost incurred on fuel alone increased by around 35 per cent during this period. The impact of this on profitability was huge, as more than 40 per cent of the airline’s operating cost were incurred on fuel. Despite this we were able to drive in profit by greater utilisation of our assets and resources like aircraft, manpower and materials. The airline was able to contain the unit cost incurred on expenses other than fuel at the same level as in FY18, said Shyam Sundar.

Air India Express has a fleet of 25 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft and operates from 13 international and 20 Indian destinations.