Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Indian airline IndiGo expects domestic travel recovery by Oct-Dec quarter

IndiGo, India's biggest airline, expects domestic air travel to recover by its October-December quarter, the company's CEO said on Monday, and has started to see a pick up in passenger numbers despite a resurgence in COVID-19 infections in the country.

Air travel in India had started to recover from the impact of the pandemic in early 2021. February was the best-performing month for IndiGo since the pandemic hit, with passenger numbers rising to as high as 180,000 a day.

But since March a second, more deadly wave of infections has hit airlines and forced them to raise funds and cut costs.

In a "best case scenario", IndiGo expects to return to the February 2021 levels by the third quarter (October-December) of the current fiscal year, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said on an analyst call.

Dutta also expects that any meaningful recovery in international travel will now be pushed to the fiscal fourth quarter - January to March 2022.

Interglobe Aviation Ltd, which runs IndiGo, reported its fifth straight quarterly loss on Saturday and has plans to raise up to 30 billion rupees ($412 million) to strengthen its balance sheet. read more

It also plans to raise an additional $618 million of liquidity during the year through credit from banks and sale and leaseback of aircraft, CFO Jiten Chopra told analysts.

The company's cash burn increased to $2.6 million a day in the March quarter from around $2 million a day in the December quarter. It expects this to rise further in the June quarter, Chopra said, without giving details. The group's fiscal year runs from April to March.

07/06/21 Aditi Shah/Reuters

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