The company spent 56.60 per cent more on fuel bills and a massive loss on account of foreign currency fluctuation of Rs 416.69 crore, which is over six times what it had suffered last year at Rs 72.99 crore in the year-ago period.
Despite these headwinds, the airline registered a 7.3 per cent growth in capacity or available seat kilometres (ASKMs) during the quarter while the revenue passenger kilometres (RPKMs) or passenger volume grew 10.5 per cent, flying 7.45 million, which was 2.2 per cent more than the comparable numbers in the year-ago period, the airline said.
Average load factor rose 250 bps to 84 per cent during the quarter and ancillary revenues grew at a higher 9 per cent.
Dube said, at the strategic level, the airline remains committed and is on track to realise most of the outcomes that were outlined as part of the turnaround strategy announced last quarter, including cost savings in excess of Rs 2,000 crore over the next two years via strategic initiatives.
These measures, which have already resulted in a saving of Rs 500 crore in the first half of the fiscal, include sub-fleet simplification, reduction in sales and distribution cost along with maintenance cost, renegotiation of contracts with vendors, and a more productive resource deployment geared to enhance profit and revenue, Dube said.
He also said the airline has embarked on a comprehensive review and consolidation of its network involving routes and markets.
The strategy includes the concentration of capacity, enhancing frequency, density and hub connectivity. The measures will include rationalisation of operations on select, uneconomic routes and the redeployment of these assets to more productive and economically efficient international as well as domestic sectors, closely aligning capacity with the demand characteristics of specific markets, it said.
“As a part of this network consolidation, the overall scale of operations (ASKMs) however, will continue at the same level as the airline currently operates,” he said.