Air India Express, which flies primarily between India and the Gulf states, posted a net loss for the first time in seven years. According to the documents it submitted to the Registrar of Companies, the airline reported a net loss of Rs 72.33 crore in FY22 compared to a net profit of Rs 98.21 crore in FY21 (ROC). However, the number of passengers flown increased 56 per cent in FY22 to 2.29 million.
The Tata group took control of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express on January 27 this year. Air India is in the process of being merged with another Tata group-owned airline AirAsia India, according to Business Standard.
Before FY22, Air India Express was in the red in FY15, when it posted a net loss of Rs 61 crore.
“Going forward, as market recovery picks up pace, the airline’s immediate efforts will be to focus on operational and financial stability, and a return to normalcy. This will include building up resources for increasing flying (hours), increasing average aircraft utilisation to pre-pandemic levels, and evaluating a moderate capacity increase,” the airline stated.
The second and third waves of the pandemic hampered market recovery, especially in the regional international markets—Air India Express’s mainstay—the airline claimed in its documents submitted to the RoC to explain the FY22 results. There are 24 Boeing 737 planes in Air India Express’ fleet. Total income and expenses in FY22 were Rs 3,522 crore and Rs 3,251 crore, respectively.
With 2.29 million passengers transported by Air India Express in FY22 compared to 1.47 million in FY21, there was a 56% increase in passenger volume.
Air India Express operated 10,172 flights in FY22, of which only 190 were domestic services. It operates flights from India to 15 foreign cities: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras-Al-Khaimah, Al Ain, Muscat, Salalah, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur.
During FY22, revenue from cargo carriage went up by about 58 per cent, taking the net revenue to Rs 209 crore against Rs 132 crore for FY21, Air India Express said. “The quantum increase in cargo this fiscal year (FY22) is attributed primarily due to the 300 plus Cargo-in-Cabin flights (P2C) that were operated during the lockdown period. Each P2C flight could carry a cargo payload of approximately 15 Tons,” it mentioned.