Air India records the first operating profit of Rs 105 crore in 9 years.
Visakhapatnam: Air India has made an operating profit of Rs 105 crore for the first time in nine years, during 2015-16 fiscal. The Telugu Desam, which is the government’s alliance partner both at a Centre & in the state, was quick to take credit for it.
While the better showing with regard to operating profit has been attributed to the reducing global crude oil prices by many, a post on the Telugu Desam’s official page on the social networking site Facebook, read: “Much credit for an amazing turn around goes to our very own Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister.” The post is attended by a photograph of the minister.
Some netizens begged to differ on a cause of the turnaround. One Adamvalli Mangapatnam posted this comment: “All because of the lower fuel prices…all the airways (sic) India are doing better with the profits…there is nothing special with Air India.”
In support of the minister, though, was Durga Prasad who posted: “There are some major decisions he has to be taken… Be aware & speak… Pulla virupu maatalu aapudaam dude. Pani chesthey, adi oppukovadam valla manaki em loss ledu.”
Crude oil prices account for around 50 percent of the operating cost of the airlines in India. The government run Air India, which is merged with an Indian Airlines in 2007, has never made any profit post of the merger.
The national carrier’s Turn Around Plan (TAP) was finalised in 2011 & was approved by the then UPA government in 2012. The TAP was revised by the present government, advancing various targets, among them for operating profit.
Merchant banker SBI Capital Markets Ltd has revised an Air India’s TAP & its Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP). “No doubt it’s a moment to rejoice, but it can’t be an attributed to any one individual. The fuel prices also came down drastically & might have played a major role in securing the operating profit. It can’t be seen as an individual’s achievement, but rather as the collective achievement,” said D Varada Reddy, president of the Air Travellers’ Association of India.
He added, “I admire and also appreciate Mr. Ashok Gajapathi Raju’s leadership and the administrative skills. He was responsible for the introduction of many domestic flights from the Vizag & Vijayawada. Air India also opened several new international routes including one to Australia, Iran & some European countries, That might have also helped the airlines in registering the much-preferred appreciation in the operating profit.”