Date
19 September 2017
A Jet Airways aircraft prepares to land at a Mumbai airport. The carrier declared a record quarterly loss this week. Photo: Bloomberg
A Jet Airways aircraft prepares to land at a Mumbai airport. The carrier declared a record quarterly loss this week. Photo: Bloomberg

India’s airlines continue to face severe headwinds

India’s private airlines are seeing their troubles continue amid mounting losses, huge debt servicing costs and fierce competition, prompting officials to call on the nation’s new government to address the industry issues.

The sector’s problems were highlighted this week as Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline by market share, reported a record quarterly loss, sending its shares plunging as much as 10 percent on Wednesday, Financial Times noted. 

Jet lost US$359m in the three months to March, which it blamed on higher fuel costs, slower growth in passenger numbers, and a one-off impairment charge for JetLite, its struggling low-cost division.

The figure was more than triple the US$91m loss recorded in the same period a year earlier, and was airline’s fifth consecutive loss-making quarter, the report noted. 

Kapil Kaul, chief executive in south Asia for the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, said the entire aviation industry – from airlines to airports – is struggling and that it needs urgent attention from the new Narendra Modi-led government.

“The entire sector is in dire straits,” he was quoted as saying.

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RA/RC

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