New Delhi, October 21: With Diwali just around the corner, Air India has launched the “Khushiyon Ki Udaan” offer, wherein a flyer will get to take one companion with her/him free of cost. The offer stands for tickets booked between October 20 to October 30. However, the offer is only valid for flights on October 30, said the Airlines. The offer is valid only on domestic routes. However, the free ticket does not include any hidden charges and all the taxes and other charges will also be paid for by the airlines. The accompanying passenger should be travelling along with the passenger having the paid ticket. The tickets can be booked from the Air India City and Airport Booking Offices.

Air India has reported an operating profit of Rs. 105 Crores, for the first time, since the merger of Indian Airlines with itself. The profit was recorded in 2015-16 and came on the back of lower fuel prices and higher passengers. In 2014-105, that is, the last quarter, it recorded a loss of Rs 2,636 crore. A key factor in the difference was the fall of fuel prices in the last financial quarter as compared to the year before that. However, an official said that the profit was not only because of the fall in fuel prices. Speaking to the Times of India, the official said, “It is not correct to say that our operating profit came due to fall in oil prices alone. Of course, that has helped but we have focussed on adding routes, enhancing network and improving services to attract passengers. Aircraft utilization has gone up.”

“All these factors, including oil, helped us report the profit,” he added. Speaking about the profits, another Air India officer said, “Operating profits – Earnings before interest – cost improved in 2015-16 from a loss of Rs 2,636 crore in 2014-15 to a marginal Profit of Rs 105 crores in 15-16.”  Air India carried 1.8 crore passengers in 2015-16, up from 1.6 crore in the previous year. The airline said that the capacity deployed with the same number of aircrafts went up by 4.8%, with Capacity utilized by 7.5%. This resulted in improvement in Seat factor from 73.7% to 75.6%. ALSO READ: Air India Recruitment 2016 for 300 Cabin Crew Posts: Last Date to Apply is Nov 8

However, there was an overall decline in the total revenue of the airlines, albeit marginal. There was a 0.42 per cent decline recorded-  from Rs 20,613 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 20,526 crore in 2015-16, said the airline. This fall in revenues was due to falling yields. The Airlines said, “Yields fell by 7.7% as the benefit of decrease in fuel cost was passed on to the passengers.”