After several years, Air India Ltd. — which is running on a financial lifeline from the government – is showing signs of a turnaround, at least on the operating side.

India’s civil aviation minister Ajit Singh said recently in Parliament that Air India’s operating performance had improved between April and September 2012.

The turnaround comes after India’s national carrier cut costs, boosted revenue and productivity and increased passenger traffic following a restructuring plan last April.

The plan involved restructuring the company’s roughly $8 billion debt and hiving off the aircraft maintenance and ground-handling operations into two units.

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Photo Credit: Air India. Rick Schlamp / Flickr