Budget airline SpiceJet today reported a net profit of Rs 238.40 crore for the three-month period ended December 2015, staying profitable for the fourth straight quarter mainly aided by lower fuel costs.
This is also the highest ever profit recorded by the carrier, which was facing turbulent times a year ago.
In the 2014 December quarter, the airline had incurred a net loss of Rs 275.03 crore.
Total income from operations jumped to Rs 1,459.95 crore in the latest December quarter compared to Rs 1,311.18 crore in the year-ago period.
"This is the fourth consecutive profitable quarter for SpiceJet since its turnaround after December 2014.
"The airline recorded a load factor of 91.6 per cent for the quarter, the highest in the industry. This load factor reflects an increase of 8 per cent over the same period last year," SpiceJet said in a statement.
Aircraft fuel expenses dropped nearly 35 per cent to Rs 366.63 crore in the 2015 December quarter compared to Rs 562.37 crore in the same period a year ago.
SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said the company was back to near normal operations in the latest December quarter.
"While the margins remain slightly depressed due to wet lease operations, the Chennai floods and exchange losses, we are happy with the progress we have made so far," he noted.
The company would continue to work on reducing legacy cost and increasing efficiency, he added.
SpiceJet has a fleet of 25 Boeing 737NG, 2 Airbus A320s and 14 Bombardier Q-400s. It operates 291 daily flights to 40 destinations, including six international ones.
Shares of InterGlobe Aviation, which operates India's largest airline IndiGo, today witnessed massive selling and nosedived by over 19 per cent on investor concerns over the targeted fleet size by March due to delay in supply of more fuel-efficient planes by Airbus.
The stock plummeted by 19.10 per cent to settle at Rs 968.75 on BSE. Intra-day, it slumped 20 per cent to Rs 958.
At NSE, shares of the company plunged 19.16 per cent to end at Rs 968.30.
Tracking the extreme weakness in the stock, the company's market valuation tanked by Rs 8,242.46 crore to settle at Rs 34,909.54 crore.
In terms of volume, 17.70 lakh shares of the company changed hands at BSE and over one crore shares were traded at NSE during the day.
"Shares of InterGlobe Aviation failed to meet market expectations and were down by 20 per cent intra-day as markets expected better numbers from the airline on the back of lower crude prices this quarter which could give a boost to the airline's bottom line," said Hiren Dhakan, Associate Fund Manager, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd.
InterGlobe Aviation yesterday reported 23.7 per cent jump in net profit at Rs 657.28 crore for the three months to December, but said it will miss the 111-fleet target by March, following labour issues at Airbus.
The delays could throw a spanner in the ambitious growth plans of IndiGo, which has been betting on the more fuel- efficient A320 Neos (new-engine option), the delivery of which was to start from this month and had even told this to investors during the recent IPO launch.
As per the original plan, IndiGo was to induct 10 A320 Neos by this March 31, 2016, which would have further boosted its bottomline as these new planes consume up to 15 per cent less fuel, which cost almost 35 per cent of operational cost.
The carrier, which got listed in November 2015, had a net profit of Rs 531.57 crore in the year-ago period.
IndiGo's revenues climbed to Rs 4,407.49 crore in the third quarter of this fiscal, an increase of nearly 12 per cent compared to Rs 3,938.79 crore in the same period a year ago.
Meanwhile, selling was also seen in other aviation counters with Jet Airways losing 6.36 per cent and SpiceJet slumping by 5.03 per cent.