Struggling Kingfisher Airlines on Saturday said its net loss widened by a whopping 147 percent to Rs 650.8 crore in the quarter ended June, from Rs 263.5 crore in the year-ago period.
This was due to higher interest costs and cost on grounded planes even as curtailed operations helped the airlines trim operational expenses significantly.
Among the three listed airlines, liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s carrier is the only one to have reported losses in the first quarter.
The other two -- Jet Airways and Spicejet -- registered surprise profits after being in the red for five consecutive quarters, driven by better operating margins on the back of lower oil prices and higher seat factor.
“Though there have been reduction in operating expenses, the impact of high fuel cost, high interest rate, rupee fall and extraordinary expenses on account of return of aircraft to the lessors and the cost associated with grounded planes have resulted in a net loss of Rs 651 crore during the reporting quarter,” the airline said in an exchange filing.
In the last fortnight, Spicejet reported a Rs 56 crore surprise profit in the June quarter on the back of improved capacity, cost-cutting and better realisation, while the largest carrier Jet Group reported a Rs 35.4 crore profit in the same period.
Total income of Kingfisher during the reporting period fell nearly five-fold to Rs 301.38 crore from Rs 1,907 crore during the year-ago period.
The carrier, launched in 2005, has substantially reduced its operations as part of a revival strategy and also returned some of its leased aircraft during the period.
However, the airline saw its other income more than trebling to Rs 92.69 crore from Rs 31.64 crore during the quarter, the reason for which has not been stated in the filing to the exchanges.
The airlines’ finance cost jumped to Rs 383.34 crore from Rs 305.80 crore during the review period.
The period also saw a lower outgo on salary bills, which declined to Rs 58.88 crore from a high Rs 173.86 crore in June 2011 quarter.
The promoters infused Rs 750 crore fresh equity into the airline during the quarter, which saw its paid—up equity capital nearly doubling to Rs 808.72 crore from Rs 497.77 crore.