Thursday, August 15, 2019

Vistara loss doubles to Rs 831 crore amid tough operating environment

Mumbai: The Tata-Singapore Airlines joint venture Vistara’s losses nearly doubled to Rs 831 crore in 2018-19 (FY19) in a tough operating environment, which also saw its peers post weak results.

The airline, however, is expected to improve its financial performance in the current financial year, as it expands its network and gets a boost in premium-class occupancy following the closure of Jet Airways.

Vistara had reported a loss of Rs 431 crore in the previous financial year. The airline’s latest loss figure is mentioned in Tata Sons’ annual report for 2018-19. The report does not give the details of revenue and break-up of expenses.

While the airline’s capacity and revenue rose as it added two planes and carried five million passengers in FY19, losses widened due to an increase in crude oil prices and a weak rupee. On average, aviation turbine fuel was 23 per cent costlier in FY19 compared to FY18, while the rupee depreciated over 8 per cent against the US dollar, increasing the costs for domestic carriers.

Other domestic airlines, too, posted dismal results in the last financial year. InterGlobe Aviation, which runs the country's largest airline by market share, IndiGo, saw its net profit decline 93 per cent to Rs 156 crore, while SpiceJet posted a loss of Rs 316 crore after a profitable FY18.

The situation has improved in the first quarter of FY20, where both IndiGo and SpiceJet have reported a huge jump in net profits. Vistara declined to comment on the issue. “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on the financial information of the company,” a spokesperson said.
15/08/19 Aneesh Phadnis & Dev Chatterjee/Business Standard
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