The largest carrier in India, IndiGo, is touching new heights every day, and one of its latest achievements is the highest-ever quarterly revenue record of Rs 130.2 billion. As a leading carrier in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, IndiGo has marked a remarkable feat with impressive revenue in its Fiscal Year 2023 first quarter record, which is 310.7% more than that in the same three-month period the previous year.
Strongest revenue performance
On August 3, Interglobe Aviation Ltd., the parent company of IndiGo, announced the carrier’s latest financial result for Quarter 1 in fiscal 2023, in which the airline saw the most robust revenue performance with the highest income quarter in its history. The FY 2023 initial quarterly income jumped to a new record high of Rs. 130,188 million ($1.664 billion), up from just Rs 31,703 million ($400.58 million) in FY 2022 Quarter 1.
Analyzing the April-June 2022 revenue record, the majority of its income, i.e., Rs. 114,669 million ($1.449billion), came from ticket sales, whereas ancillary revenue amounted to Rs. 12,863 million ($162. 56 million). Compared to the same three-month period of 2022, IndiGo saw a 400% and 90% increase in its ticket and ancillary revenue, respectively. Ancillary revenue is the non-ticket revenue made by airlines from sales of non-core products and services such as food, checked bags, extra legroom, etc.
Narrowing the net loss
Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian aviation has had an intense fare war among carriers leading to razor-thin profit margins. The travel downturn associated with the coronavirus pandemic dried up the revenue sources for many carriers, including IndiGo. In addition to the pandemic woes, headwinds caused by the depreciating Indian rupee and outrageous fuel prices have still left IndiGo with a net loss of Rs. 10,643 million ($134.5 million) at the end of the quarter.
However, IndiGo has succeeded in reducing the net loss by 36%, down from Rs. 31,742 million ($401.15 million) in the year-ago period to Rs. 10,643million for the quarter ended June 30, 2022.
CEO’s comments on the results
Commenting on the impressive results achieved by the carrier, IndiGo’s CEO, Ronojoy Dutta, said,” Our revenue performance this quarter was impressive. We reported the highest ever revenue generated by the company and thereby produced profits at an operational level. However, cost pressures on fuel and foreign exchange prevented us from translating this strong revenue performance into net profitability.”
Not taking into account the foreign exchange loss of 14,246 million ($180 million), the net profit earned by IndiGo aggregated to Rs 3,603 million ($45.5 million) for the first quarter of FY2023. Compared to quarter four last year, IndiGo saw a 221.95 increase in passenger number, and load factors over the quarter jumped by 20.9% in comparison to the April-June quarter previous year. The capacity leveled up by 145% from the year-ago Q1 period.
Despite surging passenger demand, the depreciation of the Indian currency against the dollar and burgeoning fuel costs have magnified the financial hardships of Indian carriers. From IndiGo’s total expenditure of Rs. 140,831 million ($1.78 million), fuel costs secured the top spot and comprised over 40% of the expenses, amounting to Rs 59,901 million ($757.62 million). The skyrocketing fuel costs have exerted cost pressure at the same time that lifted pandemic restrictions have opened floodgates to months of pent-up travel demand.
Next to fuel costs, another biggest contributor to the carrier’s expenses was aircraft rentals, repair, and maintenance which took Rs 18,853 million ($253.45 million). Apart from foreign exchange losses, employee costs also contributed to high expenses for the carrier, totaling up to Rs 10,583 million (133.85 million) over three months from April to June.
IndiGo’s financial performances in the coming days
As of the first quarter ended June 2022, IndiGo retained a total cash balance of $2.4 billion, of which $1.05 billion is ‘free cash’ and the rest is ‘restricted.’ Expecting to walk on a profitable growth path soon, IndiGo will reinstate its pilot salaries to 2019 levels by November this year. Besides, IndiGo is prepared to face the challenges posed by weak seasonality in the second quarter, but given the strong long-term revenue trend and the airline’s continued dominance over the domestic market, its finances won’t be hit hard.
The Gurgaon-headquartered IndiGo is the largest carrier in India, with an industry-leading route network and fleet size. It flies to nearly 100 destinations using a fleet of 281 advanced aircraft.