Low cost carrier SpiceJet saw its net loss narrowing to Rs 112.6 crore during the second quarter ended September 30, 2020, as compared to Rs 462.6 crore in the year-ago period and Rs 600.5 crore in June quarter of the current fiscal, despite travel restrictions and COVID-19 affecting demand. The decline in losses was attributed to 60 per cent reduction in expenditure along with 157 per cent year-on-year rise in revenue from cargo business.
Total expenses of the company declined 60 per cent to Rs 1,418 crore as against Rs 3,536 crore in the corresponding period last year, the Gurgaon-headquartered airline said in a regulatory filing. The company, however, did not explain how it reduced its expenses significantly.
For July-September quarter of the current fiscal, total income fell by 57.5 per cent to Rs 1,305 crore as against Rs 3,074 crore in the same period last year. "Revenue from operations fell by 63 per cent due to COVID-19 compared to same quarter last year," SpiceJet said in a regulatory filing.
On EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation) basis, the airline achieved profit of Rs 442 crore for the reported quarter as against Rs 91 crore for the corresponding quarter last year.
"The present operating environment on account of COVID-19 though does not reflect the true comparison of the current results with those of corresponding quarter last year," SpiceJet said.
Commenting on Q2 earnings, Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, "Despite COVID-19 continuing to pose serious operating challenges we have managed to significantly cut down our net loss in Q2 much like the previous quarter. The performance in Q2 is even more significant and special as this was a seasonally weak quarter when demand is at its lowest. Our company and people have done some amazing work and I am proud of the determination and resilience they have shown."
"Going forward, as our cargo business continues to expand, passenger demand further improves, travel restrictions are eased and the 737 MAX returns to service, we hope the recovery will be much quicker and stronger. Though COVID-19 cases continue to rise, I believe the worst is behind us," Singh further stated.
In terms of operational parameters, SpiceJet claimed to have the best domestic passenger load factor of 73.1 per cent amongst all airlines in the country during the quarter.
Till date, since March 25, 2020 (when the lockdown began), SpiceJet has operated more than 9,930 cargo flights transporting 76,500 tonnes of cargo.
As on September 30, 2020, SpiceJet has a fleet of 72 Boeing 737, 23 Bombardier Q-400s, 14 B737 and BombardierQ-400 freighters. The airline is currently operating 57 daily flights under UDAN or the regional connectivity scheme of the government.
In a separate development, SpiceJet's board has allotted 1,75,000 equity shares of the company of face value of Rs 10 each under Employee Stock Option Scheme (ESOP) 2017.
Meanwhile, shares of SpiceJet ended Wednesday trade at Rs 54, up 5.16 per cent, against previous closing price of Rs 51.35 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.