For the first time since 2007, when the two state-run airlines were merged, Air India (AI) has made a cash surplus of Rs. 48 crore (over variable costs).
"This was achieved during April-July 2012, which is a considerable improvement against a cash deficit of Rs. 586 crore during the same period last year," aviation minister Ajit Singh said at the launch of AI's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
AI will get five more Dreamliners before December.
AI has shown remarkable improvement in other areas as well.
Despite a decrease in capacity by over 17% due to strike by a section of pilots, AI posted an increase in revenue of 6.5% during April-August period compared to the corresponding period last year.
"During the same period (April-August) the expenditure has been reduced by Rs. 268 crore and net losses during April-July 2012 has been reduced by Rs. 557 crore," Singh said.
Passenger load factor increased by 2% during April-August and yields increased by over 25%, while on time performance in August was 86% against 69% during August last year.
Singh said that out 413 AI pilots who had struck work earlier this year, 316 had been taken back on duty.
Out of remaining 97 pilots, whose services were terminated, 50 pilots have been recommended for reinstatement, five pilots have not been found suitable for reinstatement and case of remaining 42 pilots is still under consideration.
"Posting of pilots after rationalisation of bases has been initiated according to which they would be posted and residing at a place from where they are required to fly. This will reduce the dead working hours and cost of stay and transport of pilots," he said.