Air India reported a net loss of Rs 5,547.47 crore in FY15 on the back of total revenues of Rs 19,781 crore, minister of state for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma told the Lok Sabha on Monday. While the loss was wider than the previous fiscal, the airline managed to trim it from the FY12 figure of Rs 7,559.74 crore.
The national carrier’s financial performance during FY15 fell well short of its internal estimates, which had pegged the net loss at Rs 4,346 crore and revenues around Rs 21,290 crore. Operating expenses were pegged around Rs 22,525 crore. During FY14, Air India had reported an operational loss of Rs 2,120 crore on the back of a net loss of Rs 5,380 crore and revenues of Rs 19,662 crore. Though the net loss during FY15 exceeded the figure of the previous year, the net revenue during FY15 was slightly higher than the previous fiscal.
The passenger-seat factor of the airline stood at 73.1% during 2014-15 whereas the network yield was Rs 4.35 revenue passenger kilometer (RPKM), the minister said.
The overall network on-time performance (OTP) during FY15 stood at 72.7%.
Since the implementation of the government-approved turnaround plan (TAP) — or Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) — the operating loss has reduced from Rs 5,138.69 crore in FY12 to Rs 2,171.40 crore in the year ended March 31, 2015. Net loss has come down to Rs 5,547.47 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 7,559.74 crore in 2011-12, Sharma said.
“Air India has achieved the target set out in the TAP and made substantial progress in both operational as well as financial areas,” he added.
The national carrier, however, saw a nominal increase in aircraft maintenance costs, which stood at Rs 1,145 crore, during FY 15.
Air India is expected to cut its net loss by about a third to Rs 3,500 crore during FY16 as a result of a significant reduction in fuel costs and improvement in operating performance, according to its recently released budget estimates for the current fiscal.
It also expects an operating profit of about Rs 10 crore during FY16, its first annual operating profit since the implementation of TAP in 2012. Apart from this, the airline hopes to achieve a 77.7% passenger load factor on domestic routes and 73 % on international routes during the period.
“With Air India joining the Star Alliance, the airline expects far more passengers to burn miles in exchange for premium seats, especially from the US, Europe, the UK and Australia. The projections are based on crude prices remaining in the range of $60-65-a-barrel and exchange rate constant at round Rs 62 per dollar,” said a senior airline official.