by Vijay Grover
Interglobe Aviation Ltd, which runs India’s biggest airline IndiGo, reported its fifth straight quarterly loss on Saturday, as the COVID-19 pandemic has kept air travel well below normal levels in India and its international routes.
The company which reported a net loss of 1147 crore rupees in the three months ended March 31, 2021, compared with a loss of 871 crore rupees a year earlier.
“This has been a very difficult year with our revenues slumping hard due to COVID, showing some signs of recovery during the period December to February and then slumping again with the second wave of the COVID,” IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in a statement.
The coronavirus pandemic is a period of great trial for IndiGo shareholders and staff, Dutta said, adding that the carrier was strengthening its core to emerge stronger when the sector recovers from the current situation.
However Interglobe results cant be taken as stand alone setback as they are in line with the air travel industry projections , which have seen even other Indian aviation companies see a big dent in their bottom lines.
India’s aviation sector which is reeling under losses with air travel brought to a halt for several weeks last year is seeing several airlines bleeding.
Just when air travel in India was beginning to recover earlier this year, a second wave of the pandemic hit the nation. The second wave brought the aviation sector in India to a grinding halt .Most Indian states which have been under a lockdown in the months of April and May 2021, saw the civil aviation sector take a big hit as the government has restricted airlines to fly only 50% of their total capacity.
The Indian airlines are expected to post a consolidated loss of USD 4.1 billion this fiscal, similar to what they are estimated to have incurred in 2020-21. This takes the total losses of two years to around USD 8 billion as a result of the pandemic so far, aviation consultancy and research firm CAPA said on Thursday.
In a report released a few days ago , CAPA expects domestic passenger traffic to be around 80-95 million in 2021-22 as against 52.5 million in the previous financial year. However, despite this growth, it will be well below than around 140 million passenger volumes recorded in 2019-20, CAPA said the report.