State-run carrier Air India is showing signs of recovery with the induction of new planes, more non-stop flights on long haul sectors and better passenger load in the premium class segment.
Air India carried 31.7 lakh passengers in October-December 2009, as against 25.4 lakh in the same quarter last year.
Likewise, load factor rose from 55.3 per cent in October-December 2008 to 69.7 per cent in October-December 2009.
“With the induction of brand new Boeing 777-300s on long haul routes, including New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo, we have been able to attract good loads on our premium class seats (business and first class) where the load factors are as high 80 per cent,” a senior Air India official said on condition of anonymity.
The airline also introduced Airbus A 321s on the domestic sector that helped it garner 17.5 per cent market share in calendar year 2009.
“(The) new A 321s that we have deployed on the domestic routes come with in-flight entertainment, and improved quality of in-flight service has allowed us better passenger loads,” the official added.
From an on time performance of 69.7 per cent in calendar year 2008, the airline’s on time performance has now gone up to 73.3 per cent in the same period in 2009. “Better on time performance has led to increased traffic.”
The 24.8 per cent increase in passenger carriage and 14.4 per cent rise in load factor in the third quarter (compared to the same period last year) helped Air India reduce operating losses 25 per cent over the last year.