MUMBAI – India’s biggest private airline Jet Airways on Friday swung into a net profit, snapping five straight quarterly losses on higher passenger growth and the sale of planes.
The carrier reported a consolidated net profit of 247 million rupees ($4.45 million) in the three months to June, the first fiscal quarter, against a loss of 1.23 billion rupees in the same period last year, a company statement said.
Revenues rose 31 percent to 52.74 billion rupees in the quarter, but fuel costs rose 13 percent to $353 million.
“The industry has been going through turbulent times over the past few quarters due to high costs and excess capacity, causing financial strain on airlines,” said Nikos Kardassis, chief executive of Jet Airways.
Jet’s profits were boosted by a profit of 523.7 million rupees on the sale and leaseback of planes during the past quarter.
The airline — which with a 27.4 percent share of the market is the biggest private airline in India — carried 4.86 million passengers in the quarter.
All of India’s airlines barring two — low-cost IndiGo and SpiceJet — are losing money and struggling to cope with heavy debt, intense competition and high fuel prices.
India’s national carrier Air India was hit by a near two-month-strike, which ended July, forcing it to cut several international flights and sack 100 striking pilots.
The government has cleared a $5.75-billion bailout package for Air India, which has debts of $8.3 billion.
Kingfisher, which has shut down its overseas operations and slashed domestic flights, desperately needs a cash infusion to pay the millions of dollars it owes to suppliers, lenders and other creditors.