AirAsia India December Quarter Loss Narrows to Rs 26 Crore

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Mumbai: Despite an over three-fold jump in revenue, low-cost carrier AirAsia India on Friday reported narrowing down of its operating loss to Rs 25.65 crore in the December quarter.

The airline had reported a loss of Rs 65 crore in the July-September period of 2015.

The statement from the airline did not share the year-on-year figures. AirAsia India began operations in June 2014. The loss comes even as every other airline that has declared their numbers has reported record profits on rising traffic coupled with record low fuel costs.

The airline, which is promoted by Tata Sons, AirAsia and Arun Bhatia, said revenue rose 232 per cent to Rs 208 crore and it registered strong capacity growth of 133 per cent.

The revenue increase was due to increased seats factor as well as fare increases, which on an average rose by 12 per cent to Rs 3,626 coupled with a 133 per cent jump in the ancillary revenue per passenger, which grew to Rs 492.

In the September quarter, the airline had reported an increase in operational losses at Rs 65 crore, even as its revenues rose during the same period.

AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes said, “Our operations in India are geared to grow further after a year in service as we believe our low fares and excellent product appeal to travellers who remain underserved by air travel.”

“Load factor improved to 84 per cent amid heightened competition by other players, while total passengers carried increased 134 per cent to 0.51 million,” he said.

On outlook, Mr Fernandes said fuel trended lower in the quarter, which undoubtedly remains favourable for all airlines. The group as a whole saw a great end to 2015 with record profitability and looks to 2016 with a positive light.

He expressed hope that AirAsia India would witness a new phase of growth and will work towards keeping its cost under check, with increased focus on ancillary revenue.

Last week, Mr Fernandes had said here that AirAsia India, which has six aircraft in its fleet now, would add two more planes shortly. While launching the carrier, he had said that the airline would add one plane every month. It put on hold the fleet expansion plans citing “lack of clarity” on the policy front.