Net profit of low-cost carrier SpiceJet surged 160% year-on-year to ₹110 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2022. The budget carrier had posted ₹42 crore profit in Q3 FY22 and a net loss of ₹837.8 crore in Q2 FY23.
Revenue from operations rose 2.5% to ₹2,316.8 crore in the third quarter compared with ₹2,262.6 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, according to its stock exchange filing.
Reacting to Q3 earnings, shares of SpiceJet jumped as much as 13% to ₹40 apiece on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).
The airline clocked the highest domestic passenger load factor, the percentage of available seating capacity filled with passengers, at 91%.
Available seat kilometre (ASK), a measure of an airplane's carrying capacity, rose 5%. Yield — the average amount of revenue received per paying passenger flown one kilometre — jumped 21% year-on-year.
"We exceeded our operational targets and continued with our unmatched performance clocking the highest load factor for every single month in 2022. The profits have been driven by a strong performance in both our passenger and cargo businesses. There are renewed signs of recovery and some very positive developments and restructuring initiatives in the immediate offing that would significantly strengthen and deleverage our balance sheet," says Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet.
Despite a big jump in passenger traffic, business continued to be impacted by high fuel prices and depreciating rupee, the airline says.
The airline launched 15 new routes and operated 254 charter flights in the quarter.
Meanwhile, SpiceJet's market share in the domestic sector fell to 7.3% in January 2023, lower than GoFirst (8.4%), Vistara (8.8%), Air India (9.2%) and Air Asia (7.4%).
The earnings come three days after the cash-strapped airline said its board of directors will consider options for raising fresh capital through issue of securities to qualified institutional buyers.
The fundraising plan also comes at a time when Tata Group-owned Air India has placed the biggest aircraft order ever from U.S.-based Boeing and French aerospace giant Airbus. The rival airline plans to buy 470 aircraft to modernise its fleet.
India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), had last year introduced curbs on SpiceJet, restricting the number of departures to 50% of the number of departures approved under summer schedule 2022 owing to repeated "safety incidents".
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