NEW DELHI :
State-owned helicopter operator Pawan Hans Ltd plans to expand its fleet and flight services with an aim to turn profitable ahead of its privatization.
While the Union government holds 51% in Pawan Hans, state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd has a 49% stake.
The company is expected to make a net profit in the financial year starting 1 April, Pawan Hans chairman and managing director Sanjeev Razdan said in an interview. He said that the company has recorded an operating profit in FY22 thanks to various cost-cutting measures, including a 15% reduction in employee allowances.
‘“We hope to achieve net profit by the end of next financial year,” Razdan said on the sidelines of the Wings India 2022 event in Hyderabad.
He said that Pawan Hans will take lease six Sikorsky S-76D helicopters to largely support the onshore and offshore operations of ONGC. “Two of the six helicopters will soon be inducted into our fleet, while the remaining will be inducted in the coming months,” Razdan said.
Pawan Hans has a fleet of 41 helicopters, which includes Dauphin N and N3, MI 172, AS350 and Bell helicopters.
Besides ONGC’s operations, the company operates flights for state governments and pilgrimage. It also offers services for search and rescue operations, VIP transportation, corporate and special charter services, and a few flights under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme.
Pawan Hans reported an operating loss of ₹27.12 crore and a net loss of ₹33.15 crore in FY20 amid the pandemic. The company, however, turned a corner to report an operating profit of ₹27.78 crore in FY21 on the back of a net loss of ₹17.70 crore during the period.
In February, Mint reported that the government has received bids from potential investors for Pawan Hans, which were to be evaluated by the transaction advisor.
Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary, department of investment and public asset management (Dipam), which is overseeing the company’s divestment process, said ONGC and the government will sell their stake at an agreed upon price to the highest bidder.