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Struggling private Jet Airways crashes to `588 cr Q3 net loss

Struggling private Jet Airways crashes to `588 cr Q3 net loss

New Delhi: Struggling carrier Jet Airways Thursday reported a standalone net loss of Rs 587.77 crore for the third quarter ended December 31. The company had posted a standalone net profit of Rs 165.25 crore in the same quarter previous fiscal, Jet Airways said in a regulatory filing.

The carrier said revenue from operations during the quarter under review stood at Rs 6,147.98 crore as against Rs 6,086.20 crore in the year-ago period. Total expenses in the third quarter shot up to Rs 6,786.15 crore as compared to Rs 6,042.58 crore in the same quarter last fiscal, it added.

Aircraft fuel expenses stood at Rs 2,387.72 crore as compared to Rs 1,840.08 crore in the corresponding period last year, while aircraft and engines lease rentals were at Rs 730.35 crore as against Rs 583.67 crore. Domestic revenue stood at Rs 2,560.44 crore, down from Rs 2,749.05 crore in the same quarter last fiscal, while the same for international operations was also down to Rs 3,587.54 crore as against Rs 3,337.15 crore, the filing added.

Meanwhile, the board of Jet Airways Ltd has approved a plan by its lenders to resolve a near 85 billion rupee ($1.19 billion) funding gap, which will make them the largest shareholders of India's biggest full-service carrier, Jet said on Thursday.

Jet, saddled with over $1 billion in debt, had a rough 2018 as competition intensified in the Indian airline market, the rupee depreciated and high oil prices squeezed margins.

The rescue deal by Jet's lenders, led by State Bank of India, includes funding through a mix of equity infusion, debt restructuring and sale or leaseback of aircraft.

Jet will seek approval from its shareholders at a meeting on Feb. 21 for conversion of its debt into 114 million shares. It currently has 113.6 million shares on issue. The plan gives lenders the ability to appoint nominees to the airline's board.

Jet said that after its approval the plan will be presented back to the lenders, as well as to an overseeing committee of the Indian Bankers' Association, the board of shareholder Etihad Airways and Jet's founder and chairman Naresh Goyal.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad, which owns 24 percent of Jet, bailed out the Indian airline in 2013, paying $600 million for a 24 percent stake in Jet, three take-off and landing slots in London Heathrow and a majority share in Jet's frequent flyer programme.

"Despite improvement in RASK (revenue per available seat kilometre), which grew 2.6 per cent over Q3FY18 due to seasonal, demand-led strengthening of fares, higher costs because of the price of Brent crude (up 29 per cent year-on-year) and the depreciated Indian rupee impacted the airline's overall business performance," the company said in a statement.

"These factors ensured that the sequential reduction in non-fuel CASK (cost per available seat kilometre) over the last few quarters could not be sustained. For Q3FY19, Jet Airways' non-fuel CASK increased by 13.7 per cent on a year-on-year basis to Rs 3.43 crore. Excluding forex impact, non-fuel CASK increased 7.5 per cent," it said.

On a consolidated basis, the airline's net loss stood at Rs 732 crore for Q3FY19, against a net profit of Rs 186 crore in the year-ago quarter. The company said it has restructured its network during the quarter, moving capacity away from unviable to profitable routes.

Meanwhile, according to reports from Dubai, Etihad Airways said on Thursday that it has restructured planned airplane purchases from both Airbus and Boeing as the government-owned carrier struggles through serious financial turbulence.

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