New Delhi: With substantial improvement, Air India is expected to post an operating profit of Rs 8 crore in the current fiscal, the government said today.
This would also be the first time since the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines that the national carrier would be reporting an operating profit.
Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma told Rajya Sabha that Air India is expected to "post substantial improvements" as per the revised estimates of 2015-16 compared to the previous financial year.
"Air India is expected to earn operating profit of Rs 8 crore as compared to the operating loss of Rs 2,636.18 crore in the previous year. This is the first time that the company is going to achieve operating profit since its merger in 2007-08," he said in a written reply.
The airline expects to shave off its losses by around 40 per cent to Rs 3,529.80 crore this fiscal.
It was provided Rs 30,231 crore lifeline by the government in 2012 under a turnaround plan stretching over a period of nine years to keep it afloat.
To a separate query, Sharma said Air India provides lifetime free air travel pass to Bharat Ratna awardees and living members of the Constituent Assembly of India, among others.
With regard to a question related to Mumbai airport, the minister said assistance has been sought from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to find out a feasible solution for development of area around the airport "without compromising with the safety, regularity and efficiency of aircraft operations".
On whether the Centre has received any proposal from Maharashtra government to grant approval to construct towers of 90 metre height at Bandra-Kurla complex and 225 metre one at Wadala, Sharma replied in the affirmative.
"Concurrence of the government in this matter depends on the outcome of the ICAO study," he said.