2 min read.Updated: 28 Jul 2021, 05:33 AM ISTRhik Kundu
Foreign exchange losses and lower interest income also contributed to IndiGo’s weak earnings in the three months through June. It was the airline’s sixth consecutive quarterly loss
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, the parent of India’s top domestic airline IndiGo, posted its biggest quarterly loss, hit by the devastating second wave of the pandemic and continued restrictions on air travel.
Foreign exchange losses and lower interest income also contributed to IndiGo’s weak earnings in the three months through June. It was the airline’s sixth consecutive quarterly loss.
Loss widened to ₹3,174.20 crore in the June quarter from ₹2,844.3 crore a year earlier.
Total revenue, however, surged 177% to ₹3,170.25 crore, mainly because scheduled flight services were banned between March and May last year by the government to contain the pandemic’s first wave.
Expenses climbed 59% to ₹6,344.43 crore in the June quarter, with fuel costs surging 854% to ₹1,215.9 crore.
The results missed analysts’ estimates. A Bloomberg poll of four analysts estimated a consolidated loss of ₹1,935 crore, and five forecast the carrier to report a consolidated revenue of ₹3,581.40 crore in the June quarter.
“Needless to say, we are deeply disappointed with the results," said IndiGo’s chief executive Ronojoy Dutta in a post-results call with analysts.
He said the airline incurred a foreign exchange loss of ₹290 crore during the quarter and lost an additional ₹150 crore on lower interest income.
The second wave greatly impacted the quarterly performance, Dutta said, adding IndiGo’s daily cash burn increased to ₹33.4 crore in the June quarter from ₹19 crore in the March quarter amid a sharp contraction in passenger traffic.
IndiGo’s revenue during April stood at ₹1,540 crore, which more than halved to ₹670 crore during the peak of the second wave in May before recovering to ₹960 crore in June, Dutta said, adding July revenue is expected to be identical to April.
“In the near term, our primary focus is on adding capacity. We are hoping that the government would do away with the cap (on capacity)," Dutta said.
India currently allows its airlines to sell up to 65% of their pre-covid seat capacity on any flight. These curbs are expected to ease in the coming months, with a decline in fresh infections and progress on vaccinations.
IndiGo had a total cash balance of ₹17,067.9 crore, comprising ₹5,620.7 crore of free cash and ₹11,447.2 crore of restricted cash as of end-June.
The capitalized operating lease liability was ₹25,933.5 crore, the company said, adding that its total debt, including capitalized operating lease liability, stood at ₹31,690.1 crore during the quarter.
IndiGo plans to raise as much as ₹3,000 crore through a qualified institutional placement (QIP) in the coming months.
The issue was earlier approved by the airline’s board.
The airline is continuing to evaluate the timeline for launching the QIP issue, depending on its cash position, Dutta said.
At the end of the June quarter, IndiGo had a fleet of 277 aircraft, including 85 Airbus A320 Ceos, 122 A320 Neos, 41 A321 Neos and 29 ATR aircraft.
The airline operated a peak of 1,262 daily flights and a minimum of 318 flights during the quarter, which included non-scheduled flights.
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