An over 16 per cent growth in its passenger traffic helped national carrier Air India improve its ticket revenue by 8.4 per cent...
An over 16 per cent growth in its passenger traffic helped national carrier Air India improve its ticket revenue by 8.4 per cent, which stood at Rs 1,500 crore in January over the period last year, an airline official said today.
Meanwhile, the carrier has also lined up sumptuous Indian cuisines, named after popular cricketers, to cater to its passengers on its flights to Australia for ICC World Cup there.
Air India has clocked a higher seat factor on its both national and domestic network during this period as well, the official said.
After a long spell of losses, the national airline had returned to profitability in December 2014 with a net profit of Rs 14.6 crore in the month as against a loss of Rs 168.7 crore in December 2013, driven by a healthy growth in both passenger and cargo revenue.
Saddled with a massive Rs 40,000 crore debt and combined losses of Rs 36,000 crore till last fiscal, the airline is surviving on a government bailout package, announced earlier.
“The airline registered major gains in January in terms of operational performance as compared to the same period in 2014.
“We on an average carried 16.7 per cent more passenger per day as 51,829 passengers on average boarded our flights, Â 44,420 passengers in January 2014,” the official said.
“This resulted in an 8.4 per cent increase in the passenger revenue to Rs 1,500 crore during the reporting month from Rs 1,384 crore in January 2014.”
Also, the load factor on the international flights rose by three per cent to 81 per cent during the month while the domestic seat factor touched 82 per cent mark from 73 per cent recorded in January 2014.
The airline continued to improve on the availability of the A-320 fleet with one more new aircraft joining its fleet last week while more such planes are likely to join the fleet by October this year, the official said adding, “These aircraft are in a 186 all-economy configurations with no in-flight entertainment facilities.”
“Thus, AI has adopted a hybrid model of competing with an all-economy configuration on certain routes coupled with full service model on the high density routes.”
Recently, Air India has introduced refreshments on all flights even on those with less than one-hour duration.
“We are also planning to introduce dishes, which will be named after popular Indian cricketers, on our flights to Australia during the forthcoming ICC World Cup to attract more passengers,” the official said.
Currently, the Australian sector, which was added in the airline’s international network in 2013, is clocking 85 per cent load factor across flights.
Indian style chicken served with some fragrant onion pilaf is ‘Dhoni’s Swashbuckling Super Six’ and the rasmalai is christened ‘Sachin’s Sweet Drive’ as part of these exclusive dishes.
Similarly, a paneer dish served with ‘pilaf jaffrani’ has been named ‘Raina’s Cheesy Pull Shot’.
Air India will serve these items on its flights to Australia during the ICC World Cup which gets underway in Australia and New Zealand on February 14 and lasts till March 29.
Business class passengers will also be given special night suits with the image of ‘Maharajah’ swinging a bat painted on the front of the jacket.