Mumbai: Carrier Kingfisher Airlines narrowed its net loss for the third quarter as sales improved due to higher air traffic, it said on Friday.
Net loss shrunk to Rs254 crore compared with a loss of Rs420 crore the same period last year. Operating revenue rose 28% to Rs1,658 crore.
The firm controlled by United Breweries Holdings, has seen its quarterly load factors rise to 87% versus 76% a year ago.
The quarter was hurt due to the unplanned grounding of 14 of its Airbus aircraft due to an engine snag before October last year, though some joined the fleet during the quarter.
“The aircraft recovery is well underway with 10 of the grounded aircraft flying by end of February and the rest before end of April.”
Kingfisher is tied for the second place with IndiGo in the Indian market according to government data with identical market share of 18.6%. The Jet Group is the largest Indian domestic carrier with 25.4% market share.
India’s domestic passenger traffic grew 18.7% through January to December last year led by a burgeoning middle class in Asia’s third largest economy.
“This upsurge in demand is expected to continue as the Indian economy sustains its reinvigorated growth trajectory,” Kingfisher said.
Growth in premium traffic also continues to be strong, with business class growing faster than economy, it added.
Kingfisher shares closed up 4.6% at Rs42.10 in a firm Mumbai stock market.