Kingfisher Airlines reports Rs 419-crore net loss for Q2 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009, 19:30 by Aviation Correspondent

Kingfisher Airlines, the privately owned carrier based in Bangalore, India, has reported a net loss of Rs 419 crore for the second quarter of the 2009-10 fiscal, which ended on September 30, 2009 – down by 3.2% from the corresponding period in the last fiscal, when it incurred a net loss of Rs 483 crore.

A statement from Kingfisher Airlines – which is a part of Vijay Mallya’s UB Group – said the company’s net income from operations fell by 13% at Rs 1,142 crore for the second quarter of the 2009-10 fiscal, compared to the net income of Rs 1,323 crore a year ago.

The carrier suffered these losses notwithstanding a restructuring of its operations and having resorted to several steps to curb costs, because of an increase in operational costs as well as the economic depression that hit the aviation industry hard globally.

In September 2009, Kingfisher Airlines was market leader, with a share of 23.3%. In the same month, the airline achieved an increase of 9% in the number of passengers carried, or load factor, in spite of a reduction in its operations by 17% in the domestic sector.

The company suffered a decline of 32% in revenues, thanks to low fares till earlier in 2009, compared to the revenues it earned the year before.

According to the statement, the restructuring of operations and strict cost-control measures helped the airline register a positive EBITDA of Rs 44 crore, as against a loss of Rs 207 crore it suffered the last time in the case of domestic operations. Some technical issues, the statement said, led to grounding of a few planes, resulting in loss of revenue. The initial spending related to new international routes, too, added to the losses.

Despite the losses on the international routes, Kingfisher Airlines is still banking on international routes to get out of the red.

The Kolkata-Bangkok sector, the airline said, was launched in the second quarter of the 2009-10 fiscal, using single-aisle planes – thereby increasing the ‘block hour usage’ of the same planes deployed on domestic routes.

Kingfisher Airlines had suspended its Bangalore-Colombo and Bangalore-London routes and instead launched 2 new routes – the Mumbai-Hong Kong and Mumbai-Singapore routes.

Kingfisher Airlines, which had merged with the former Deccan Aviation, a company based in Bangalore, had inherited Deccan Aviation’s airplane and helicopter chartering services.

The chartering services has a fleet of 3 fixed-wing aircraft and 9 helicopters, which are deployed across Kingfisher Airlines’ bases at Bangalore, Bhubaneshwar, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Katra (Jammu and Kashmir), Surat, and Sri Lanka.