A large part of the quarter was under the lockdown, with flights resuming only on May 25.

A SpiceJet 737 800 aircraftImage: Paul Nelhams via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Money Aviation Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 16:52

Domestic budget carrier SpiceJet reported a net loss of Rs 593.4 crore in the April-June quarter of FY21 as flight operations remained suspended for most part of the quarter following the lockdown. In the corresponding quarter last year, SpiceJet recorded a profit of Rs 261.7 crore in the same quarter last year.

Flights were suspended in March, and only resumed on May 25.

SpiceJetā€™s operating revenue was down 83% to Rs 514.7 crore for the quarter as against Rs 3,002.1 crore in the same quarter last year. Meanwhile, operating expenses were Rs 1303.2 crore as against Rs 2,887.2 crore.

ā€œThe 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,ā€ the company said in a statement.

Last quarter, SpiceJet reported a net loss of Rs 807.1 crore in the January-March period against a profit of Rs 56.3 crore in the same quarter last year.

ā€œFlight operations were suspended for most part of the quarter and the partial resumption of flights initially and the weak demand thereafter was a reminder of the significant problems that this pandemic has resulted in,ā€ 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% and that the airline maintained its market share of above 16%.

SpiceJetā€™s revenue from cargo increased by 144%

During the lockdown, with commercial flights being suspended, SpiceJet began functioning as a cargo operator, having operated more than 7000 flights and transported around 50,000 tonnes of cargo since March 25, 2020. Out of these 7000 flights, 40% were to international destinations. SpiceJetā€™s international cargo network now spans over 44 international destinations.

It said that it is currently operating 47% of its preā€covid schedule after flying resumed.

It said it has operated over 800 charter and Vande Bharat flights to help repatriate more than 1,20,000 stranded Indian citizens from countries such as Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka. SpiceJet also operated long haul wide body charter operations with a fleet of A330/A340 aircraft.

The aviation industry has been facing a severe financial crunch with travel still being largely curbed. SpiceJetā€™s rival IndiGo recorded a net loss of Rs 2,844 crore for the first quarter of FY21.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said last month that the domestic aviation industry ā€˜requires a capital infusionā€™ of around $5 billion to keep it afloat as expected consolidated industry losses may stand at $6-6.5 billion this fiscal due to COVID-19. 

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