In what can be termed as “Achhe Din” for the national aircraft carrier, Air India Express which is a subsidiary of Air India, has turned profitable for the first time ever since it started its operation on 29 April 2005.Â After a chain of continuous losses for 11 years, Air India Express reported an overall profit of Rs. 362 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal. In the fiscal year 2014-15, Air India Express had incurred losses to the tunes of Rs. 62 crores. Today, Air India Express operates about 400 flights per week to 26 international destinations and has a fleet of 21 aircrafts – all of them Boeing 737 models.
There have been various factors that have catapulted the erstwhile loss-making Air India Express to the zone of profitability. The decrease in global crude prices definitely helped the finances of the organisation, but one of the major reasons was better fleet utilisation, cutting down unnecessary expenses and efficient management of all the resources by officials. The better utilisation of fleets resulted in more passengers being transported which resulted in much higher revenues. Due to efficient management by the officials, fleet utilisation improved by about 6 %. While the overall income of Air India Express in fiscal 2014-15 was Rs. 2622 crore, the income in the 2015-16 fiscal increased to Rs. 2917 crore.
In the fiscal 2015-16, Air India – the mother organisation of Air India Express, is also expected to make an operational profit of Rs. 100 crore, and is optimistic of increasing the operational profit to about Rs. 800 crore in the 2016-17 fiscal. This has been attributed to better management, efficient fleet utilisation and lower fuel costs.
Air India Express CEO K.Shyamasundar said, “This turnaround should be attributed to the sustained efforts of all the Air India Express employees and the tremendous trust placed on us by our valued passengers. In purely business terms, the positive net outcome may be attributed to record levels of aircraft utilisation, PLF (Passenger Load Factors) and yields achieved in the year. Of course, low ATF rates also helped.”