Low-cost airline SpiceJet reported a pre-tax loss of Rs 593.4 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year, against a profit of Rs 261.6 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. The loss was on account of suspension of flight operations for a major part of the quarter, following the nationwide lockdown announced by the government to counter the pandemic.
Market leader IndiGo had registered a pre-tax loss of Rs 2,849 crore during the same period.
SpiceJet’s operating revenue was down 83 per cent to Rs 514.7 crore for the quarter, against Rs 3,002.1 crore in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, operating expenses came in at Rs 1303.2 crore, against Rs 2,887.2 crore.
“The present operating environment on account of Covid-19 though does not reflect the true comparison of the current results with those of the corresponding quarter last year,” the company said in a statement.
SpiceJet reported a loss of Rs 807.1 crore in the January-March period.
“Flight operations were suspended for most part of the quarter. The partial resumption of flights initially and the weak demand thereafter were a reminder of the significant problems that this pandemic has resulted in,” Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said.
However, SpiceJet said in a statement that it has the best passenger load factor amongst all airlines in the country during the quarter at 66.4 per cent and that the airline maintained its market share of above 16 per cent.
SpiceJet’s revenue from cargo increased 144 per cent. During the lockdown, with commercial flights being suspended, SpiceJet began functioning as a cargo operator, having operated more than 7,000 flights and transported around 50,000 tonnes of cargo since March 25.
Of these 7,000 flights, 40 per cent were to international destinations. SpiceJet’s international cargo network now spans over 44 international destinations.
It said that it is currently operating 47 per cent of its pre-Covid schedule after flying resumed.
It said it has operated over 800 chartered and Vande Bharat flights to help repatriate more than 120,000 stranded Indian citizens from countries such as the Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Maldives, and Sri Lanka.