MUMBAI (TIP): In the middle of an ownership change, budget airline SpiceJet on Thursday reported a steep 59 per cent rise in its third-quarter net loss at Rs 275 crore on lower passenger numbers and a one-time cost of Rs 295 crore.
The cash-strapped airline was forced to ground flights for some days during the quarter after its vendors refused to offer credit. This resulted in the airline witnessing a 31 per cent decline in capacity, while revenue fell 27 per cent to Rs 1,300 crore, from Rs 1,769 crore in the year-ago quarter.
The net loss has widened from Rs 173 crore during the September-December 2013 quarter, said the airline whose co-founder Ajay Singh has returned as its promoter after buying stake from the Maran family.
The finance cost of the airline also went up sharply to over Rs 47 crore in the quarter ended December 31, 2014, from a little over Rs 30 crore in the year-ago period, while the airline had to bear one-off and exceptional expenses totaling Rs 295 crore in the latest three-month period. The passenger revenue was down 28 per cent, while ancillary revenues fell by 20 per cent.
However the load factor was up 18 per cent, taking the total RASK (revenue per available seat km) up 5 per cent. Still, the airline’s revenue per kilometre slipped 12 per cent due to cancellations and clubbing of flights that resulted in less capacity available to sell at high yield in peak season.
Total CASK (cost per available seat km) rose 16 per cent, while fuel cost came down by 14 per cent, but non-fuel CASK rose 42 per cent due to one-offs and exceptional costs, and unabsorbed fixed costs and overheads over 31 per cent which reduced capacity.