'Air India may start making net profits from 2019'

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Hyderabad, Mar 16: Air India is expected to start making net profits from 2019 and operational profits from the current fiscal on the back of better passenger yield and load factor, a top Civil Aviation ministry official said today.

"From December onwards, for the first time in about ten years, Air India has been consistently making operational profits. It is still making net loss, primarily because of the interest burden. But operationally, it is EBITDA positive," Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, told reporters on the sidelines of India Aviation-2016 event.

'Air India may start making net profits from 2019'

He also said the recovery of the beleaguered airlines would be faster if oil prices continue to be low.

"The turnaround plan of Air India envisaged that it will turnaround by 2020. Now, it is likely to turnaround one-and-half years before 2020, which means it will make net profits by 2019 instead of 2020.

"If only the oil prices continue to rule soft, then of course we would be very happy...Air India's recovery would be much faster," Choubey said.

Replying to a query, he said the government has been pumping in about Rs 2,500 crore every year into the national carrier.

Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said the new Civil Aviation Policy is at an advanced stage. The policy has been put up on the website and suggestions are called for.

"We are seeking guidance from some of the senior ministers also. There will be implications. We are hopeful that by April of next accounting year, the policy will be out," the minister said.

PTI

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