Jet Airways, which is close to concluding a 24% stake sale deal with Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways, slumped to a standalone net loss of R355 crore for the fiscal 2013-14 first quarter ended June 30. The first quarter is traditionally a profitable quarter for airlines as it coincides with summer holidays in a large part of the country, and in the same quarter last year, Jet Airways had a standalone profit of R24.7 crore.
The loss came as the airline carried 7.3 lakh fewer passengers during the quarter and was also adversely impacted by the weak rupee.
During the quarter, Jet’s standalone revenue revenue fell 12.3% to R4,064.4 crore from R4,636.7 crore in the same quarter last year.
“The devaluation of the rupee versus the US Dollar, steep increase in landing and navigation chargers at key metros and high fuel prices has impacted the industry’s profitability,” said Captain Hameed Ali, acting chief executive officer, Jet Airways.
“The domestic aviation industry continues to go through a turbulent time as it has been for quite some time now due to weak economic scenario resulting in a sluggish demand growth. This coupled with the airline’s inability to pass on high input costs fully to the passengers, have caused financial strain on the airlines.”
Due to the weak rupee, Jet’s results were impacted to the tune of R131.50 crore on account of foreign exchange translation losses. The airline also gave increments to its staff, which raised costs by R23.7 crore, and cancellation of some long-haul flights resulted in aircraft on the ground due to which the airline had to pay R122.8 crore extra which wasn’t paid in last years quarter.
Jet’s low-cost subsidiary JetLite also faced a slump in performance although it remained profitable. During the quarter, JetLite had a net profit of R6.89 crore, 41% lower than R11.73 crore last year. Its revenues fell 17.5% to R466.1 crore from R563.2 crore last year.
Jet’s revenue per ASKM or revenue earnt from each seat offered per kilometre was R4.45 while its cost per ASKM was R4.51. In essence, it was losing to the tune of