Jet Airways, which returned to profit in the December quarter, said the outlook for the current quarter is also positive and would continue with cost-cutting measures to maintain profitability.
The country’s second-largest airline said reduction in employee cost, rationalisation of routes and decrease in fuel costs have helped it return to black in Q4.
In Q3, the number of employees reduced 9% year on year.
Officials, on a conference call, said the airline has been reducing the number of expat pilots, which has now come down to 100 from 210 earlier.
“We are training the Indian pilots instead. The headcount also reduced due to high attrition in the cabin crew and ground staff,” said a company official.
The airline also saved on fuel costs during the quarter as it negotiated high volume discounts from oil marketing companies. “Airline’s fuel costs came down to 40% of the overall sales from 45%. The discount from the oil marketing companies amounted to about `3-3.5 per litre, which helped the company reduce its fuel costs,” said an analyst from a domestic brokerage.
The airline managed to post profit despite weak passenger traffic, high fuel prices and currency fluctuation, the analyst said. The unrealised exchange loss for the quarter was approximately `48 crore. The airline also reduced its debt to $2.16 billion as on December 31, down from $2.6 billion in March last. “We are seeing robust booking on the international routes. We have cut down on the loss-making overseas routes and are at a good position. For the domestic market, the fourth quarter is generally a weak quarter, but we are not seeing any signs of concern,” said an official.
The airline officials, however, declined to give details on the deal with Etihad.