Jet Airways, the country’s biggest full-service carrier, on Monday reported its third consecutive quarterly loss for the three-month period ended September on account of higher fuel prices and a weak rupee.
The Naresh Goyal-led carrier posted a standalone net loss of ₹1,297.5 crore during the quarter, compared with a profit of ₹49.6 crore a year ago. The loss was higher than analysts’ expectations. A Bloomberg poll estimated a loss of ₹1,119.2 crore for the September quarter, according to media reports.
Total revenue grew 8.3% to ₹6,236.7 crore, up from ₹5,758.2 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.
Fuel costs during the quarter jumped 59% to ₹2,419.8 crore, from ₹1,525.6 crore last year. Loss on account of foreign currency fluctuation stood at ₹416.7 crore in the September quarter, the company said in a statement.
The airline has embarked on a “comprehensive review and consolidation of its network involving routes and markets, as well as products and services offered,” the company said.
It further suggested that it will cut flights on routes which are less profitable. “The strategy includes concentration of capacity, enhancing frequency, density, and hub connectivity. The measures will include rationalisation of operations on select, uneconomic routes and the redeployment of these assets to more productive and economically-efficient international as well as domestic sectors,” the company said.
In August, Jet had planned to implement several cost-reduction measures to lower expenses by ₹2,000 crore over the next two years. The company has already realised cost saving of over ₹500 crore to date, it said in the statement.
High fuel costs have ensured a difficult year for most airlines. Last month, low-cost carrier IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Aviation posted a loss of ₹652.1 crore for the September quarter compared with a profit in the comparative quarter.
"While we navigate the challenges posed by the current environment, our focus and attention remain on safety and operational reliability. We are confident that we will overcome our current challenges, honour our commitments to our stakeholders, and deliver a more strategic, efficient, and financially-viable airline,” Vinay Dube, CEO, Jet Airways said in the statement.
Meanwhile, media reports suggest that Tata Sons is in active talks to acquire a controlling stake in the cash-strapped airline. However, neither Tata Sons or Jet Airways have commented on these speculations.
Shares of the full-service carrier fell almost 6% to ₹242.05 apiece on the BSE on Monday.