Jet Airways losses continue to rise as higher fuel prices hit struggling airline

posted on 14th November 2018 by Justin Burns

Jet Airways’ board met on Monday where they agreed to “accelerate a turnaround strategy” and also reported a net loss of Rs13 billion ($178m) for the three months to September, slightly down from a loss of Rs13.2bn in the June quarter.

The Indian carrier said the “tough industry environment” in the backdrop of a sharp rise in Brent fuel price by more than 50 per cent over Q2, a depreciating rupee and a challenging pricing situation in an over-capacitated domestic market, continued to undermine performance for the quarter.

Jet had liabilities of $2.7bn at the end of September, exceeding its assets by $990 million.

Despite the above, the airline said it demonstrated progress on its business and operating fundamentals, registering a 7.3 per cent growth in available seat kilometres (ASKMs) over Q2 FY18, and a 10.5 per cent growth in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKMs), flying 7.45 million passengers – up by 2.2 per cent from Q2 FY18.

Average load factors increased by 2.5 per cent to 84 per cent, ancillary revenues grew by nine per cent, and cargo revenues increased by over 13.7 per cent over Q2 FY18.

With the induction of the Boeing 737 MAX progressing as per schedule, 11 of which are expected to be inducted in its fleet during this fiscal, Jet Airways said it will leverage the fuel efficiency and longer range of its existing and forthcoming MAXs to replace those with higher operating costs on both domestic and international sectors.

The airline is launching three additional services to Singapore from Mumbai, Delhi and Pune, and in early November, commenced its operations to Manchester from Mumbai. The airline will also launch additional frequencies between Delhi – Bangkok, Mumbai – Doha, Delhi – Doha, Mumbai – Dubai and Delhi – Kathmandu during the winter schedule.

Jet Airways chief executive officer, Vinay Dube said: “With our clearly defined focus on profitability, we are in the midst of turning the ship around. We remain closely engaged with all our partners, who acknowledge the challenges faced by the Indian aviation industry and have been very supportive.”

“While we navigate the challenges posed by the current industry environment, our focus and attention remains on safety and operational reliability. We are confident that we will overcome our current challenges, honour our commitments to our stakeholders, and deliver a more strategic, efficient and financially viable airline.”