Jet Airways Posts Fifth Quarterly Loss

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Published: May 25, 2012

Jet Airways posted a fifth straight quarterly loss on Thursday, as the leading Indian carrier continued to bear the brunt of high fuel costs and intense competition.

Troubles at rival Kingfisher Airline, which stopped international operations recently, helped Jet’s revenue by leading to a better load factor on international routes.

Jet said on Thursday its net loss for January-March nearly tripled to INR2.98 billion rupees (USD$ 53 million), on revenue up 24 percent to INR46.4 billion.

“Rupee depreciation and fuel prices has impacted the quarterly results. However, capacity reduction in the industry has helped to raise fares and improve yields,” chief executive Nikos Kardassis said.

Kingfisher, owned by drinks baron Vijay Mallya, has been struggling to pay a USD$ 1.3 billion loan and has cut the number of its daily flights, as it seeks cash to continue operations.

The Indian aviation industry is going through turbulent times, as airlines, reeling under a combined debt load of USD$ 20 billion, have failed to raise fresh funds, and a struggling rupee increased fuel costs.

Local taxes make jet fuel about 50 percent costlier in India compared to the global average. The government has allowed carriers to import jet fuel directly, but no airlines has started importing yet.

“Rupee depreciation and crude oil prices continue to be a cause of concern. This coupled with sluggish economy could impact traffic growth to some extend in the short to medium term,” the company said.

Jet, which has a fleet of 102 planes, may order more than 100 narrow-body aircraft for up to USD$ 3.75 billion in 2012/13 as it grabs market share from its troubled rivals, a leading consultancy said this week.

Jet, along with low-cost arm JetKonnect, has a 28.2 percent market share of local routes.

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