SpiceJet reports largest profit in four years due to reduced expenses

SpiceJet, a budget airline in India, has reported its highest quarterly profit in four years, with a 6% increase in shares. The increase is due to a sharp decrease in expenses after the airline operated fewer flights, which outweighed the drop in revenue. The airline's profit for the first quarter ended June 30 reached 2.05 billion rupees ($24.7 million), compared to a loss of 7.89 billion rupees the previous year. 


SpiceJet also reported a profit of 168.6 million rupees for the quarter ended March 31, compared to a loss of 4.58 billion rupees a year before. SpiceJet has been delayed in releasing its March-quarter numbers due to a member of its audit committee being ill. 

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The airline has been working hard to raise funds and restore operations for about a fourth of its fleet, which has been grounded due to battles with its lessor's overpayments. The airline's top shareholder, Ajay Singh, has pledged to infuse 5 billion rupees into the troubled carrier to help it return to full operations. In February, Carlyle Aviation Partners, an aircraft lessor, acquired a 7.5% stake in the company's cargo unit, SpiceXpress. 


Despite SpiceJet's troubles, competitors IndiGo and Akasa Air have capitalized on the situation and eaten into the airline's market shares. SpiceJet's market share has decreased from 9.5% last year to 4.4% at the end of June, according to the latest data from the aviation regulator. The airline's overall revenue for the first quarter was down by 22%, while expenses fell by 37% due to fuel costs and foreign exchange losses. SpiceJet's load factor, which is the passenger carrying capacity being utilized, improved from 86.4% last year to 90% in June-end.

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