• Air India board discuss FY15-16 financial performance

    Air India’s board today discussed the national carrier’s financial performance in the last fiscal for which it has been projected to record an operational profit of Rs 8 crore.

    During its meeting here, the board also discussed about independent directors as some of them would be completing their respective terms soon, a senior official said.

    The board mainly discussed the carrier’s financial performance during the last financial year, according to the official.

    Battling tough market conditions and stiff competition, the airline has been registering losses for quite some time, but its performance has improved in the last few quarters.

    “Air India’s all-time performance has increased. This year, it is making profit, which is the first time in the last 10 years. It is making an operating profit. Air India is doing good work,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju had said earlier this month.

    The airline is expected to post an operating profit of Rs 8 crore in 2015-16.

    There are 11 members on the board, including CMD Ashwani Lohani. Director (Finance) V Hejmadi, Director (Personnel) N K Jain and Director (Commercial) Pankaj Srivastava.

    The government nominees include Gargi Kaul and B S Bhullar, both joint secretaries at the Civil Aviation Ministry.

    There are five independent directors — Gurcharan Das, Prem Vrat, K K Nohwar, R H Dholakia and Renuka Ramnath.

    In March, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had said Air India was “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 had said.

    Air India ran up losses to the tune of Rs 5,859.91 crore in 2014-15. The improvement is anticipated mainly on account of a steep fall in the jet fuel price, which accounts for 40 per cent of an airline’s operating expenses.

    In 2012, the government had extended a Rs 30,231-crore lifeline to the national carrier under a turnaround plan stretching over a period of nine years to keep it afloat.

    Under the 2012 Turn Around Plan (TAP), the government would infuse Rs 18,929 crore for repayment of government- guaranteed loans/interest till 2010-21. Reid Duke Authentic Jersey

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