SpiceJet Q4 net rises 22% on demand surge

Cancellation of Jet flights helps low-cost carrier make up for losses due to grounding of MAX aircraft

Low-cost carrier SpiceJet reported a profit of ₹56.3 crore in the quarter ended March, a 22% growth over ₹46.2 crore profit it earned during the same period last year.

The performance comes after a surge in demand following the cancellation of flights by Jet Airways, which helped SpiceJet make up for losses due to the grounding of its MAX aircraft.

For FY19, however, the airline posted a net loss of ₹316 crore as opposed to a profit of ₹566 crore in FY18.

“SpiceJet has posted a strong recovery in the last two quarters after suffering a loss of ₹427.5 crore in the first two quarters due to a steep increase in fuel costs and sudden depreciation of the rupee. This recovery comes despite the unprecedented challenges we faced during Q4 FY2019, which saw the grounding of 13 of our MAX planes,” the airline’s chairman and managing director, Ajay Singh, said in a press statement.

The airline garnered ₹2,571.3 crore in total income for the reported quarter, while its total expenses stood at ₹2,515.5.

Its revenue from operations grew by 25% in a seasonally weak quarter.

While the airline was forced to ground 13 of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft on March 12 following a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order in the aftermath of Ethiopian Airlines crash, large-scale flight cancellations by Jet Airways in the weeks leading up to a complete suspension of operations in mid-April provided other players in the market an opportunity to sell more seats on their aircraft, raise airfares and add more capacity on more profitable routes.

The airline said that there was a likelihood of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft resuming operations in July and that it is yet to receive compensation from Boeing for the groundings.

Between April and May, SpiceJet added 25 aircraft enabling it to expand to a fleet size of 100 planes as well as 106 new flights, a large chunk of which fly to, from and between Delhi and Mumbai.

The low-cost carrier will add 35 planes in the current fiscal.

The company is planning to ramp up its cargo capacity by adding four Boeing 737 NG planes to its freighter fleet of two aircraft.

The low-cost carrier said it planned to develop Guwahati a cargo hub in the northeast by connecting it to all the seven States there.

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