The aviation industry’s bleeding account-books showed more red on Wednesday as Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet posted huge losses, but, unlike Jet Airways, which reported losses higher than the year-ago quarter a day earlier, the two other airlines showed contractions in the losses.
The lower losses seemed like a silver lining in the cloud cast by a year that marked a crippling downturn. Jet was hit further by a five-day pilot strike.
Kingfisher posted a net loss of Rs 419 crore for the July-September quarter, down from a Rs 483 crore loss it posted in the year-ago period.
SpiceJet lost Rs 101 crore in the quarter, significantly lower than the loss of Rs 198 crore that the company registered in the same quarter last year.
Jet on Tuesday had showed a loss of Rs 406.7 crore for the quarter ended September, against a loss of Rs 386 crore in the same quarter last year.
Analysts said the high losses are a because of low revenue per seat and the lean season.
“Traditionally, July to September is the weakest quarter for the industry. However, we continue to improve our load factor,” said Sanjay Aggarwal, CEO, SpiceJet.
Low fares led to the decline in revenues per passenger. The average revenue per passenger for Kingfisher was down 29 per cent from Rs 5,560 in the quarter ended September 2008 to Rs 3,965 this year.
Airlines said contractions in losses resulted from cost saving measures.
“We have restructured our operations and continue to maintain stringent cost control,” said a Kingfisher Airlines spokesperson.
The operating revenues for Kingfisher witnessed a year on year drop of 14 per cent at Rs 1,142 crore from Rs 1,322 crore last year. On the other hand operating revenues of SpiceJet saw a spike as it rose by 31 per cent on an year on year basis from Rs 343 crore last year to Rs 449 crore in the quarter ended September 2009.
This is on account of revival in demand, SpiceJet said.
“The yield has started firming up during the third fiscal quarter and demand remains robust,” said Aggarwal.