The state-owned airline, which is working on ways to improve its financials, had an operating loss of Rs 2,636 crore in 2014-15.
Having an operating profit in a decade is an encouraging sign for the airline, which is seeking to turn around its fortunes amid stiff competition, sources said.
A decline of nearly 24 per cent in fuel costs in the last financial year compared to the year-ago period was a key factor in the airline becoming operationally profitable.
According to the sources, the benefits of lower fuel costs were passed on to passengers, which is also reflected in terms of lower yield during the last fiscal. Yield -- an indicator of ticket prices -- declined by 7.7 per cent.
However, in 2015-16, the carrier saw its revenue slide to Rs 20,526 crore from Rs 20,613 crore in 2014-15.
Indicating improved operating performance, EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to Rs 3,587 crore last financial year, from Rs 1,436 crore in 2014-15.
Last fiscal, the airline's capacity deployment and aircraft utilisation went up by 4.8 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively.
On account of currency fluctuations, the carrier incurred a forex loss Rs 350 crore in 2015-16.
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