SpiceJet, the country’s second-largest low-cost carrier, on Monday reported a 78.7% year-on-year increase in its net profit at Rs 105.28 crore for the quarter ended September 30 because of a substantial growth in revenues. In the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal, the airline had reported a net profit of Rs 58.9 crore. The second quarter of the fiscal was beneficial for the airline since the festive season started from late August and Navratri fell in late September. Net sales during the quarter increased 30.39% y-o-y to Rs 1,797.45 crore as a result of the increase in the number of passengers carried during the period. At an operating level, the EBITDAR, or earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rent, increased 26.4% y-o-y to Rs 421.6 crore. Overall expenses during the the quarter substantially increased as the airline expanded its operations. Fuel cost — almost 40% of the total operating costs — increased 26.1% y-o-y, while aircraft rentals grew 17.09% y-o-y. Aircraft maintenance costs during the quarter jumped 45.9% year-on-year and other expenses increased by 33.9% on a Y-o-Y basis.
“Every quarter, SpiceJet has a story which further underscores our extraordinary turnaround. We launched new flights on maiden routes and further emphasised our commitment for Udan as we introduced our fourth daily flight under the scheme,” said Ajay Singh, chairman, SpiceJet. The Gurgaon-based airline witnessed a 7% increase in its passenger yields (revenue per available seat klilometre) while its average load factor across the network stood at 93.1%. It also reported load factors more than 90% for the past 30 months. “The quarter also saw SpiceJet launch its 50th destination — Dibrugarh — further strengthening the carrier’s focus on North-East India as the airline now operates 26 daily flights in and out of the North East, eight flights within the region, besides launching a slew of flights to connect Rajasthan like never before,” said the company in a statement.
Interestingly, SpiceJet is mired in a legal tangle with former promoter Kal Airways, led by Kalanithi Maran, due to a share transfer dispute when the change in the ownership had taken place. The Delhi High Court has asked the airline to deposit the amount in two tranches — a bank guarantee of Rs 329 crore and a deposit of Rs 250 crore. SpiceJet has already complied with the order and deposited Rs 250 crore with the registrar general of the Delhi High court.