Air India Express posts a net loss for the first time in 7 years


The Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted planned international services, caused Air India Express, which flies primarily between India and the Gulf states, to post 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).

On January 27 this year, Tata Group took control of Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express. A merger between Air India and AirAsia India, another airline owned by the Tata group, is currently taking place.

Before FY22, Air India Express was in the red in FY15, when it posted a net loss of Rs 61 crore.

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.

Countries continued to have varying levels of travel restrictions during FY22, and the budget carrier mentioned that international flights continued to be conducted under VBM (Vande Bharat Mission) and air bubble arrangements.

“The airline, as such, continued with its business continuity measures, by shifting capacity in alignment with demand patterns, keeping a close watch on route profitability, continuing with cutbacks in employee salaries, and focusing on cargo.

The quantum increase in cargo this fiscal year (FY22) is attributed primarily 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.”

Air India Express

The pandemic forced India to suspend international flights from March 2020 to March 2022. As a result of Covid restrictions, the airline formed bilateral air bubble arrangements with several nations during these two years.

According to the carrier, these measures allowed the company to contain its net loss in FY22. During FY21, its parent company Air India, which has been losing money for many years, reported a net loss of Rs 9,556 crore.

Air India Express posts a net loss for the first time in 7 years

Due to travel restrictions and bans imposed by many countries during the second wave of the pandemic, Air India Express said that its passenger load factor of 59.9% in FY22 is “notable”.

The company was able to contain its net loss to Rs 72.33 crore in FY22, the carrier mentioned. Its parent company Air India — which has been making losses for many years — reported a net loss of Rs 9,556 crore in FY21.

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Air India Express operated 10,172 flights in FY22, of which only 190 were domestic services. There are 24 Boeing 737 planes in Air India Express’ fleet. 

Air India Express has 24 Boeing 737 planes in its fleet.

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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.

Its total income and total expenses were Rs 3,522 crore and Rs 3,251 crore, respectively, in FY22. 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. During FY22, revenue from cargo carriage went up by about 58%, taking the net revenue to Rs 209 crore against Rs 132 crore for FY21.

(With Inputs from Business Standard)