India's largest airline IndiGo on Wednesday reported a net loss of ₹1,681 crore in the quarter ended March as the Omicron variant disrupted air travel earlier this year. The company's net loss stood at ₹1,147 crore in the same period last year.
Fuel prices increased by 61% year-on-year in the January-March period, InterGlobe Aviation, the budget carrier's parent, says in an exchange filing.
This comes at a time when oil marketing companies have hiked jet fuel prices every fortnight since the start of the calendar year 2022. The latest hike was announced on May 16, taking aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices to an all-time high of ₹1,23,039.71 per kilolitre in the national capital. Jet fuel constitutes around 40% of the running cost of an airline.
Revenue from operations jumped 28.9% year-on-year to ₹8,020 crore aided by a strong traffic rebound in the latter half of the quarter, the company says.
For the year ended March 2022, which was impacted first by the Delta wave of Covid-19 and then by Omicron, IndiGo reported a net loss of ₹6,161 crore.
"This quarter has been difficult because of the demand destruction caused by the Omicron virus in the first half. Although traffic rebounded and demand was robust during the latter half of the quarter, we were challenged by high fuel costs and a weakening rupee," says IndiGo chief executive Ronojoy Dutta.
Total income for the quarter ended March 2022 was ₹8,207 crore, an increase of 29% over the same period last year.
The airline's passenger ticket revenues stood at ₹6,884 crore during the quarter, an increase of 38.4% year-on-year and ancillary revenues were ₹1,058 crore, an increase of 18.8%.
IndiGo's available seat kilometer (ASK), a measure of an airplane's carrying capacity, rose 6.3% YoY to ₹2,040 crore from ₹1,920 crore.
Yield - the average amount of revenue received per paying passenger flown one kilometre - rose 13% year-on-year to ₹4.24 in Q4 from ₹3.76 in the corresponding quarter last year.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortisation, and restructuring or rent cost (EBITDAR) for the quarter fell 73.50% year-on-year to ₹171.80 crore from ₹648.30 crore. Ebitdar margin plunged to 2.1% from 10.4%.
IndiGo witnessed an increase in the number of passengers by 10.3% in the fourth quarter compared to the same period last year.
The low-cost carrier's expenses in the fourth quarter soared 31.5% year-on-year to ₹9,885 crore. Total cash with the airline stood at ₹18,227 crore, while its debt rose to ₹36,877 crore compared with a year ago.
On future outlook, the airline says capacity in terms of ASKs is expected to increase by around 150% during the first quarter of fiscal year 2022-23 as compared to the first quarter of FY22. "Fiscal year 2023 capacity in terms of ASKs is expected to increase by around 55-60% as compared to the fiscal year 2022," it adds.
IndiGo's fleet comprised 275 aircraft including 41 A320 CEOs, 143 A320 NEOs, 56 A321 NEOs and 35 ATRs as of March 31, 2022.