New Delhi: Jet Airways (India) Ltd on Wednesday reported a fiscal first quarter loss of ₹1,323 crore, excluding those of its unit, on higher fuel costs and foreign exchange losses. The company’s board also outlined a turnaround plan, after posting its second straight quarterly loss.
The airline, which had reported a profit (excluding those of its units) of ₹53.50 crore in the year-earlier quarter, said it had a negative net worth at the end of the June quarter.
“The company has undertaken various initiatives in relation to saving cost, optimize revenue management opportunities and enhance ancillary revenues. These initiatives are expected to result in improved operating performance,” Jet Airways said in a statement.
The Jet Airways board on Monday approved a turnaround plan for the airline, which includes a cost reduction programme of more than ₹2,000 crore over two years, a plan to improve pricing, better inventory management, leveraging its JetPrivilege Programme, capital infusion and fleet simplification, the company said in a statement.
“The two significant proposals considered by the board of directors today, that is, infusion of capital and the monetization of the airline’s stake in its loyalty programme, bode well for the long-term financial health and sustainability of the airline,” said Naresh Goyal, chairman of Jet Airways.
Jet Airways had on 9 August postponed the announcement of its earnings for the three months ended 30 June. It had then said that the chairman of its audit committee informed the board at its meeting that day that the management needed further time to finalize the accounts.
Jet Airways, which had about 13.6% of the domestic market share in July, was expected to report a wider loss than in the March quarter because of rising costs. During the past 12 months, Brent crude has gained 46% to $76.10 a barrel, while the rupee weakened 8.73% against the dollar during the same period.
“The company’s continued thrust to improve operational efficiency and initiatives to raise funds, including monetization of assets, are expected to address uncertainties in relation to generation of sustainable cash flows and ability to repay its borrowings,” Jet Airways said. “Accordingly, the financial results continue to be prepared on a going concern basis, which contemplates realization of assets and settlement of liabilities in the normal course of business, including financial support to its subsidiaries.”
Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said in a statement that the rise in the price of Brent crude, a depreciating rupee and a resulting mismatch between high fuel prices and low fares have adversely impacted the Indian aviation industry, including Jet Airways.
Jet Airways reported a stand-alone revenue of ₹6,066.91 crore during the June quarter, up from ₹5,953.92 crore during the June quarter a year earlier.
The airline’s costs (total expenses) during the June quarter rose to ₹7,389.91 crore from ₹5,900.42 crore in the year-ago quarter.
The airline also reported a foreign exchange loss of ₹364.62 crore during the quarter.
“We are implementing a host of measures to reduce costs and grow revenue, while retaining our focus on our guests,” Dube said in a statement. “I am confident that the various transformation initiatives identified and under implementation by the company will help in addressing the challenges faced by us.”
Analysts tracking the sector said that higher oil prices, a falling rupee, a slowdown in the airline’s West Asia operations and falling yields due to the airline’s inability to pass on costs to customers have hurt the airline.
“The airline has been unable to pass on the rising cost to customers and also failed to keep a check on its expenses,” said an analyst tracking the sector with an international brokerage, who did not want to be named.