Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today reported a record loss of Rs 559 crore in the three months to September, hit by high fuel prices and a weak rupee.
The airline, controlled by media baron Kalanithi Maran's Sun Group, had reported a loss of Rs 164 crore in the year-ago period.
The airline's previous biggest loss was Rs 327 crore in the September quarter of FY 2007-08.
The airline, which has been headless since late July after CEO Niel Mills quit, in a late night media statement said its income rose marginally to Rs 1,246.08 crore from Rs 1,172.97 crore in the year-ago period.
The finance cost rose to Rs 32.72 crore during the July-September quarter from Rs 30.67 crore in the same period of last fiscal.
The airline attributed the record high loss to higher fuel prices, which accounted for 56 per cent of the total operational expenses, up from 54 per cent in the year-ago quarter.
A weakening rupee against the US dollar, coupled with a massive spike in aircraft maintenance cost that jumped to Rs 78 crore in the reporting period added to the airline's woes. The company said it did not pay any tax in the reporting quarter against Rs 6.3 crore it had paid in year-ago period.
The fourth largest operator by market share had short-term debt of Rs 255 crore.
While the passenger traffic for the airline increased by nine per cent during the reported period, passenger yields declined 7 per cent to Rs 3,711 from Rs 4001 a year ago. Late last month, the second largest carrier Jet Airways had also reported a record quarterly loss of Rs 891 crore, an eight-fold rise from the year-ago period.