After making a profit for three consecutive years in a high-cost environment, IndiGo, India's largest domestic carrier by market share, ended the financial year 2011-12 in the red.
The Gurgaon-based no-frills carrier made an operating loss of Rs 87.6 crore in FY12 as per government data placed before Parliament on Wednesday. IndiGo had made a profit of Rs 18.1 crore in 2008-09, Rs 446.7 crore in 2009-10 and Rs 602.4 crore in 2010-11.
"We expected IndiGo to have reported a very modest profit," said Kapil Kaul, South Asia chief executive officer of aviation consultancy firm Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. "I am not surprised though as FY11-12 had a hostile cost environment."
IndiGo did not offer any comments.
IndiGo's operating expenses in FY12 were R5,640 crore as compared to an operating revenue of Rs 5552.4 crore.
The airline's operating expenses were set to increase after it launched international operations in September 2011.
The carrier, owned by Gurgaon-based Rahul Bhatia and US-based investor Rakesh Gangwal topped up an earlier plan to buy 100 Airbus planes with another 180 in 10 years beginning 2015, with a shopping bag of $15.6 billion (around Rs 70,000 crore).