With a stronger focus on cargo, budget airline SpiceJet narrowed its losses to Rs 112.6 crore in the July-September quarter despite travel restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic. In the previous quarter (April-June), the airline had reported a net loss of Rs 593.4 crore. It reported a loss of Rs 462.6 crore in the same period last year.
Revenue from operations fell by 63% due to COVID-19 compared to same quarter last year. SpiceJet reported total income was Rs 1,305 crore for the quarter as against Rs 3,074 crore in the same quarter last year. Expenses for the quarter fell nearly by half to Rs 1,418 crore as against Rs 3,536 crore last year.
â€śOn an EBITDA basis, SpiceJet achieved profit of INR 442 crore for the reported quarter as against INR 91 crore for the corresponding quarter last year. On an EBITDAR (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization, and restructuring or rent costs) basis, the profit was INR 475 crore for the reported quarter as against profit of INR 154 crore for the same quarter last year,â€ť the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, its rival IndiGo, reported a net loss of Rs 1,194.8 crore for the same quarter.
SpiceJet is currently operating 52% of its pre-Covid schedule. Its capacity in terms of seat kilometre for passenger segment, however, contracted by 71% as compared to same quarter last year.
With passenger flights being restricted and lesser people travelling, SpiceJet shifted its focus to cargo in major way over the past two quarters. Its revenue from cargo increased by 39% Quarter on Quarter. It now has a fleet of 17 cargo aircraft including three wide-body planes with a cargo network spanning 63 domestic and 44 international destinations. The company said that it has carried 76,500 tons of cargo since the lockdown began and has operated more than 9930 cargo flights.
It also said that it has operated more than 1100 charter flights to repatriate passengers
Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said in a statement that the airline the performance in Q2 is even more significant and special as this was a seasonally weak quarter when demand is at its lowest.
â€śGoing forward, as our cargo business continues to expand, passenger demand further improves, travel restrictions are eased and the 737 MAX returns to service we hope the recovery will be much quicker and stronger. Though Covid-19 cases continue to rise, I believe the worst is behind us. The pandemic gave us the unprecedented opportunity to further cut down on costs and re-structure our contracts and aircraft leases to align with current operating environment while at the same time operating the full schedule as was permitted. What we have managed to do in the last few months will have a significant long-term impact,â€ť Ajay added.
The quarter also saw SpiceJet get a new Chief Financial Officer Sanjeev Taneja, who brings over 27 years of business exposure and experience across reputed corporates such as Essar Ports, Mumbai International Airport, Damac Properties, Marg and other leading companies in the varied industries.