Mumbai: The net loss of cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines Ltd more than trippled for the quarter ended 31 March 2012 owing to stubborn jet fuel cost and rupee depreciation.
Vijay Mallya-promoted carrier, that scaled down its operations due to cash crunch, posted a net loss of Rs 1152.52 crore for the March quarter compared to Rs 355.54 crore the corresponding quarter of the previous year.
The sales for the reporting quarter declined to Rs 741.12 crore from Rs 1626.14 crore for 31 March 2011, mainly due to trimming operations.
Kingfisher Airlines had introduced a temporary “holding plan’’ wherein the carrier will fly only little over 100 flights a day instead of 350 plus flights a year ago.
“Kingfisher Airlines in now continuing on it’s previously stated “Holding Plan” with a limited fleet and simultaneously progressing on it’s aircraft reconfiguration plan to contain losses in this very tough operating environment for the Indian aviation industry,’’ the airline said in a media statement.
The company has a focused fleet re-induction plan and hopes to be back to full-scale operations in the next 12 months backed by a recapitalization plan that the company is actively pursuing and confident of achieving, it said.
The jet fuel cost for the airline for the reporting quarter declined to Rs 545.12 crore compared to Rs 668.42 crore for the March quarter of 2011.
The employees cost for reporting quarter came down to Rs 136.96 crore from Rs 172.05 crore and aircraft lease rental cost declined to Rs 100.11 crore from Rs 247.43 crore.
The decline in costs were largely because of “holding plan’’.
“The Indian aviation industry is confronted with an unprecedented, tough operating environment - intensified by consistently high fuel prices and the depreciating Indian rupee,’’ the airline said.
Fuel prices have increased by over 40% over last year compounded by the weakened rupee. The industry’s demand growth in the domestic market at 13% in FY12 over last year has been overshadowed by a 17% growth in industry capacity leading to a pressure on the yields and the load factor for the industry, the airline said.
Kingfisher Airlines never made a profit since its inception.
“There was an incremental one-time loss of Rs 743 crore due to early redelivery of the aircraft and Rs 338 crore due to restructuring costs,’’ the airline statement said.
The airline, which is eyeing foreign direct investment from international airlines, also blamed the adverse publicity for its poor performance.
“Rationalization of capacity in the last two quarters of FY12 and continued adverse publicity led to a disproportionate loss of revenue,’’ it said.
According to the financial statement, the airline has a total liability, including short and long term, of Rs 14162.42 crore as of 31 March 2012.
The airline also made a net loss of Rs 2328 crore in the last financial year against Rs 1027.39 crore for the year 2010-11.