Air India operating profit
Air India operating profitReuters File

National carrier Air India is expected to earn an operating profit of Rs 8 crore in the current financial year, the government said Tuesday. In the previous year, it posted an operating loss of about Rs 2,636 crore.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said that this is the first time the airline would be posting an operating profit, ever since Air India merged with Indian Airlines in 2007, the Press Trust of India reported.

"Air India is expected to post substantial improvements as per the revised estimates of 2015-16. It is expected to earn an operating profit of Rs 8 crore as compared to the loss of Rs 2,636.18 crore in the previous year. This is the first time the company is going to achieve operating profit since its merger in 2007-08," Sharma said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

In addition, the airline is expected to reduce its losses by 40 percent to Rs 3,529.80 during the current financial year.

In 2012, the central government infused Rs 30,231 crore into the airline, under a turnaround plan for a time period of nine years.

Earlier in March it was reported that Air India Express, a low-cost subsidiary of Air India, is expected to post a profit of Rs 250 crore in the current fiscal year, compared to a loss of Rs 61 crore in the previous year.

[1 lakh = 100,000 | 1 crore = 10 million | 100 crore = 1 billion]