Bengaluru: Indian budget airline SpiceJet on Friday posted its biggest-ever quarterly profit of Rs 261.7 crore, as it flew more passengers and raised fares in the wake of the collapse of Jet Airways.
The carrier had a net loss of Rs 38.1 crore in the year-ago period.
In the latest June quarter, the no-frills airline posted a total income of Rs 3,145.3 crore as compared to Rs 2,253.3 crore in the corresponding period a year ago, according to a release.
SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said the results would have been vastly better but for the painful grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.
"We look forward to their swift return to service in the near future that will help SpiceJet increase its margins and provide a superior level of service," he noted.
Domestic air traffic growth has been slowing in recent months in a flagging economy, but the downfall of Jet Airways, once the country’s largest private carrier, this year has helped SpiceJet and market leader IndiGo attract more customers, raise fares and add routes.
Shares in SpiceJet and InterGlobe Aviation-owned IndiGo have soared 55 percent and 31 percent respectively this year, as the companies raced to fill in prime airport slots vacated by Jet Airways.
Shares of the company rose over 4 percent to Rs 141.50 in afternoon trade on the BSE.
SpiceJet said passenger fares rose 11 percent during the three months to June, a quarter in which it cancelled some flights due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX after the deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane in March.
India’s No.2 airline by market share said operations remained “stressed” for much of the quarter due to the grounding, causing disruption to passengers’ travel plans and an increase in fixed costs related to the narrow-body aircraft.
SpiceJet had estimated that the grounded planes would resume flying by July or August, but there was still uncertainty around the specific timing, it said, adding that it would induct 5-10 Boeing 737 NG planes and three Bombardier Q400 aircraft in October.
SpiceJet added 32 aircraft between April and June. Jet Airways began grounding its planes at the start of the year and was eventually forced to stop operations in April this year.
— With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Aug 09, 2019 16:00:19 IST