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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Jet standalone net loss soars 8-fold to Rs. 891 cr in Q2

PTI  Mumbai, October 23, 2013
First Published: 23:00 IST(23/10/2013) | Last Updated: 23:02 IST(23/10/2013)

Jet Airways on Wednesday blamed a steepfall in the rupee, slowdown in the domestic aviation market and rise in fuel costs for a sharp widening in standalone net loss at Rs. 891 crore in the July-September quarter, 2013-14.

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It had logged Rs. 99.7 crore loss in the year-ago period.

Jet Airways Group operates more than 550 flights a day with its two brands, the full-service Jet Airways and the low-cost JetLite.

The consolidated losses were much higher at Rs. 998.5 crore. The airline did not offer a comparative figure either this quarter or in the corresponding quarter last fiscal, when it offered only standalone numbers.

One of the worst quarterly set of numbers came in even as the airline reported a 12% rise in the number of passengers carried as well as the 3% growth in available seat kilometres, apart from 6% rise in the number of departures during the reporting quarter.

However, rise in the fuel cost and the steep fall of rupee negated these gains. Operating revenue grew almost flat at 1% to Rs. 4,607.9 crore from Rs. 4,563 crore a year ago as passenger yields declined 11% to Rs. 7,376 from Rs. 8,335.

Standalone income rose marginally to Rs. 4,267.7 crore from Rs. 4,194.7 crore.

"Lean season and economic slowdown resulted in drop in yields. Depreciating currency, high fuel prices and increases in airport charges in select airports have driven cost pressures resulting in losses," the company, which is awaiting some approvals for selling 24% stake sale to Etihad Airways, said in a statement.

Though it has already received the Cabinet approval as well as those regulators barring the CCI, the deal has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

"Domestic aviation industry witnessed increasing cost challenges, mainly due to rupee depreciation, high fuel prices and increase in airport charges in certain stations putting pressure on the bottom line," Jet Airways chief executive Garry Toomey said.

The airline said the poor numbers were also due to grounding of some of its aircraft, which shaved off around Rs. 123.3 crore in income. These aircraft will be leased out in the next few months, the airline said.

Fuel rates rose 8 per cent year-on-year, it said, adding it passed on the spike in fuel to passengers and that the full impact of the fuel surcharge will be seen from the current quarter.

Toomey said the airline has managed to remain competitive through series of planned steps, such as discontinuing loss-making routes and stringent cost control.

"We believe and strive for customer satisfaction by investing into effective marketing strategies and proactive initiatives resulting in enhancing our guest experience," he said.

On the outlook, Toomey said the third quarter will reflect high seasonality, which will help improve yields. Domestic fare revision which was made at the fag end of Q2 will start showing positive effect in the balance part of the year and that booking trends for the quarter are quite encouraging."

However, he warned the rupee fall and oil prices continue to be a cause of concern.

Toomey also said the airline will be retiring a portion of its high cost debt, which stood at over $2 billion, through equity infusion and cheaper debt.

Shares of the company closed at Rs. 346.05 apiece, down 0.43%.


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