Mumbai, Oct. 23: Jet Airways today posted its highest quarterly loss of Rs 891.01 crore for the quarter ended September 30, hit by rising costs and a decline in passenger revenue.
The country’s second-largest airline, in terms of passengers, had posted a loss of Rs 99.67 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. In the first quarter of the current fiscal, the loss stood at Rs 355.38 crore.
Analysts had expected Jet Airways, in which Etihad is picking up a 24 per cent stake, to report a loss of a little over Rs 400 crore.
According to the airline, a depreciating currency, high fuel prices and increase in airport charges in some terminals drove cost pressures.
There were also instances of the grounding of aircraft owing to accidents such as bird-hits that cost Rs 123 crore.
Total expenditure of the airline, however, dropped around 19 per cent to Rs 5,100 crore on a year-on-year basis. Fuel expenses fell 7.7 per cent to Rs 1,810.8 crore compared with Rs 1,681.4 crore a year ago.
Analysts said intense competition, a lean season owing to the monsoons along with the economic slowdown led to a drop in passenger yields.
Passenger yield, which is the average fare paid per mile, dropped 11 per cent to Rs 7,376 from Rs 8,335 a year ago.
On Tuesday, consulting firm — the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) — warned that all domestic airlines may post losses of Rs 3,000 crore during the second quarter.
It put the blame on competitive air fares that could affect their margins.
“Indian airlines have unfortunately repeatedly demonstrated their ability to undo months of hard work with just a few weeks of irrational pricing, as a result of which profitability remains elusive,” Capa observed.
Jet Airways struck an optimistic outlook as the third and fourth quarters are expected to be strong because of the festival season and holidays.
The airline said while the trends of the peak season would be reflected in the three months ending December, the full impact of the domestic fare revision would be felt in the second half.