AI's first operational profits in four years

New Delhi: Flag carrier Air India has reported its first operational profit in four years, turning a loss of Rs150 crore in November 2009 into a surplus of Rs21.66 crore for the same month in 2010.

The desperately struggling airline said it had posted better performance on the back of a significant improvement in efficiency and better yield management strategies. "We expect the company to be back in the black by the end of the financial year," a senior Air India official said.

An official statement said 108 of the carrier's 194 services made cash profits in November 2010.

The carrier recorded an increase of 22.6% in revenues, at Rs7,250 crore, over the period April-November 2010. Also its net losses decreased by 23%, to Rs5,551 crore, in 2009-10, down from Rs7,189 crore in the previous financial year.

The carrier also registered an increase in its overall passenger load factor at 66.3% during April-November 2010, up from 63.1% in the year-ago period.

The carrier has debts of Rs40,000 crore and accumulated losses of Rs5,500 crore.