4-year high: Airlines’ April-Nov losses at ₹6,845 cr

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on December 27, 2019 Published on December 27, 2019

Impacted by myriad factors ranging from high fuel costs to economic slowdown, the Indian aviation sector has recorded operating losses of ₹6,845.78 crore during the first eight months of this financial year, its highest since FY15.

For April-November, the private carriers’ losses rose to ₹2,311.79 crore, while that of the national carrier (and subsidiaries) were at ₹4,533.9 crore in the full financial year of FY2019.

According to industry experts, things are unlikely to change for the rest of the year.

For April-November, state-run carriers posted the highest losses, with Air India’s losses zooming to ₹4,685 crore, as against a loss of ₹1,658 crore recorded in FY2019.

Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air, which generally operates on UDAN routes, posted ₹308 crore in losses (₹134 crore loss in FY19), according to Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) data.

Among all the three government-owned carriers, Air India Express is the only profitable one. Even though, there has been a dip in profits, the airline has posted an operating profit of ₹459 crore (₹547 crore).

During the reporting eight-month period of FY20, the total operating revenue of Indian carriers stood at ₹81,164 crore (₹92,145 crore).

“The Indian aviation industry is hemorrhaging due to several changes in FY20. The growth in passenger demand in the 2019 has been below expectations and the current economic slowdown in India has complicated matters further. The grounding of Boeing 737 MAX, the Pratt & Whitney engine issues faced by IndiGo and the precarious state of Air India are the key obstacles,” Abhilash Varkey Abraham, Research Analyst, Aerospace & Defense, Frost & Sullivan

Amongst the private carriers, Tata SIA Airlines (operating as Vistara) posted the highest losses of ₹900 crore during the eight-month period. Even though the full-service carrier recorded operating revenues worth ₹2,994.38 crore, its expenses stood at ₹3,894.85 crore. In the fiscal FY19, the airline had posted losses of ₹516 crore.

AirAsia India, in which Tata Sons holds a 51 per cent stake and AirAsia Bhd the remaining 49 per cent, has incurred losses of ₹703 crore. In FY19, the airline recorded losses worth ₹141 crore.

During the period under review, SpiceJet posted losses of ₹266 crore, as against a profit of ₹521 crore the previous fiscal. Another low-cost carrier , IndiGo, posted losses of ₹490 crore (profit of ₹2,576 crore in FY19).

While no-frills carrier GoAir did not make any losses during the period, its revenues dropped drastically. For the April-November period, the Wadia Group-owned airline posted a profit of ₹72.6 crore, as against ₹535 crore in the previous fiscal. According to the data, the airline’s expenses have seen a jump of more than ₹2,200 crore.

Published on December 27, 2019
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor