IndiGo parent's shares drop as fuel prices cloud recovery, loss widens

·2-min read
FILE PHOTO: An IndiGo Airlines aircraft prepares to land as a man paddles his cycle rickshaw in Ahmedabad

By Chandini Monnappa and Aditi Shah

BENGALURU (Reuters) -Shares of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, the operator of India's biggest airline IndiGo, were on track for their worst day in 10 months on Friday, a day after it warned that fuel prices were clouding an ongoing recovery and posted a bigger loss.

High fuel prices pose a threat to a recovery in the pandemic-battered aviation industry across the globe, with U.S. airlines warning a complete return to profit may be delayed as higher prices overshadow strong demand.

Though revenue is fast returning to normalcy and passenger load factor, or the passenger carrying capacity being used, is expected to be around 76% in October, fuel prices are worrisome, Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said in a post earnings call.

Average revenue booked per day in October was the same as it was in pre-pandemic January 2020, even though the airline was operating at 20% less capacity, Dutta added.

Yields, a metric for profitability, grew 20.4% to 4.19 rupees compared with the previous quarter, and Dutta said he expects higher yields to be sustainable going forward.

The company, which has reported losses since 2020, said cash burn in the second quarter was 200 million rupees a day, down 37% from the previous quarter.

InterGlobe's aircraft fuel expenses soared 207.8% to 19.89 billion rupees in the reported quarter, and total expenses surged 71.4%, the company said.

Net loss widened to 14.40 billion rupees ($192.32 million) in the three months to Sept. 30, from 11.95 billion rupees a year earlier.

Revenue from operations rose 104.6% as COVID-19 vaccination rates picked up and the government eased most air travel-related curbs.

InterGlobe's shares fell as much as 7.4% and were trading at 1,898.70 rupees as of 0410 GMT.

($1 = 74.8770 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Vishwadha Chander and Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Aditi Shah in New Delhi;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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