Net loss of Ajay Singh-led SpiceJet widened to ₹789 crore in the first quarter of 2022-23 as business was severely impacted by record high fuel prices and a depreciating rupee. The airline had reported a ₹729 crore loss in the quarter ended June 30, 2021.

Excluding a one-time forex loss of ₹369 crore in the April-June quarter, SpiceJet said its Q1 loss amounts to ₹420 crore.

Total revenue for the June quarter was ₹2,478 crore as against ₹1,266 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. For the same comparative period, operating expenses stood at ₹3,267 crore as against ₹1,995 crore.

SpiceJet, which delayed the financial result for Q4 FY22 due to ransomware attack on its systems, reported a net loss of ₹458 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 against ₹235.3 crore in the year-ago quarter.

Business was severely impacted by the third wave of Covid-19 and high fuel prices during Q4FY22, the company says in its stock exchange filing.

SpiceJet reported a net loss of ₹1,725 crore for FY22 as compared to a net loss of ₹998.3 crore in FY21.

Meanwhile, the airline's board has approved fresh capital infusion of up to $200 million. "We are optimistic about our future and our continued recovery and in order to achieve our future plans the board has mandated fresh capital issuance and the company will be shortly engaging with investment bankers for a potential raise of up to $200 million," says Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet.

This comes at a time when market share of SpiceJet has declined from 9.5% in June 2022 to 8% in July 2022. Aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), in its interim order in July, ordered the budget carrier to restrict its flights to 50% of the number of approved departures for a period of eight weeks. The aviation watchdog had said that the airline failed to establish a safe, efficient, and reliable air transport service under the aircraft rules.

"The industry has been witness to one of the most severe operating environment in the recent past which impacted the progress and recovery made in Q3FY2022. Record high ATF prices and depreciating rupee were the major contributors. Despite the complex operating environment and highest ever input costs, SpiceJet has been able to sustain its operations with the confidence shown by our partners and passengers," says Singh.

Singh said that SpiceJet will soon conclude the hive-off of cargo business into a separate independent company, SpiceXpress in the ongoing quarter which will be followed by capacity enhancement with additional freighter aircraft within FY23.

SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor amongst all airlines in the country. Its average domestic load factor for the quarter ended March 31, 2022 was 83.3% while for FY22 it was 80.4%. SpiceJet had the highest PLF of 86.43% in Q1 FY23.

"Last year was a period of restructuring and settlements and we successfully completed and implemented settlements with most of our major partners including manufacturers and lessors setting the stage for our seamless growth and expansion. As we move ahead we are encouraged with the strong travel demand and our focus for the next year would be to induct more fuel efficient Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft and concentrate on our regional and international routes," says Singh.

Shares of SpiceJet crashed as much as 14% in the opening trade on Thursday after the quarterly results announcement.

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