Updated: December 27, 2010 01:25 IST

Air India claims its turnaround plan showing results

Vinay Kumar
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A foreign airline's aircraft flies over an Air India plane at the IGI Airport in New Delhi. A PTI file photo.
A foreign airline's aircraft flies over an Air India plane at the IGI Airport in New Delhi. A PTI file photo.

Though in dire need of yet another dose of equity infusion by the government and still grappling with problems of total integration post Air India-Indian Airlines merger, Air India on Sunday claimed to have put on rail the turnaround plan which was initiated during 2010-11, saying it has started showing results.

The public sector carrier said the turnaround plan has resulted in improvements being reported across all perfomance parameters. Arvind Jadhav, Chairman & Managing Director of Air India said: ``The results are very encouraging and reflect the commitment of our employees. We have just begun the turnaround journey and we have a long way to go.’’

During the period April–November 2010, Air India recorded network revenue of Rs 7,250 crore as compared to the revenue of Rs 5,911 crore achieved during the corresponding period of the previous year, thus showing a growth of 22.6%.

Out of the total network revenue, Rs 4,401 crore was recorded on international flights as compared to Rs 3,801 crore in the year-ago period, showing a gain of 15.8%. Network revenue on domestic flights jumped 35%, from Rs 2,110 crore in April-November 2009 to Rs 2,849 crore in April-November 2010.

Passengers continued to repose their faith in the airline and overall, Air India was ranked 28th among the top 50 service brands, ahead of leading banks, insurance companies, food chains and airlines, a press statement by Air India claimed.

April-November 2010 saw 9.05 million passengers flying the Air India network as compared to 7.99 million in the previous year during the same period.

On its international network, passenger traffic improved to 3.74 million passengers as compared to 3.61 million passengers in the year-ago period, an increase of 3.5%. On its domestic network, passenger traffic was up at 5.32 million passengers from 4.38 million in the year-ago period, an increase of 21.4%.

This increase in passenger traffic compares favourably with network capacity addition by Air India of only 4.0% during the period — two per cent on the international network and 11.4% on the domestic network.

The airline registered an overall passenger load factor of 66.3% during April-November 2010, up from 63.1% achieved in the previous year. On its international network, the passenger load factor increased to 65.0% from 62.2% while on its domestic network, the passenger load factor increased to 70.4% from 66.2% during this period

Yield per Revenue Passenger Kilometer (Yield/RPK) on the Air India network increased by 12.2% during the period under review. On its international network, the Yield/RPK increased by 8.7%, while on the domestic network the Yield/RPK was up 14%.

Air India, since its first flight on October 15, 1932, has a network of 33 destinations across the US, Europe, Canada, Far-East and South-East Asia, and the Gulf. The airline’s domestic network after the AI-Indian Airlines merger covers 64 destinations. The national carrier’s present fleet of 135 aircraft comprises a mix of the wide-body B777s, B747s, A330s and the narrow body Airbus A321s, A320s, A319s and the B737s.

However, official data released by the Ministry of Civil Aviation for November 2010 showed that Air India’s domestic market share stood at 17.1 per cent with private carrier Jet Airways alongwith JetLite leading the pack with 26.2 per cent market share in domestic sector. Kingfisher’s market share was put at 19.1 per cent and IndiGo’s stood at 17.3 per cent for last month.

Similarly, the data showed that the seat factor during November 2010 in domestic sector IndiGo led the way with 91 per cent. It was followed by SpiceJet at 87.5 per cent, Kingfisher at 86.7 per cent, Jet Airways at 77 per cent and Air India coming next at 76.9 per cent.

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