Revenue of Indian airlines falls 85 per cent to I3,651 crore in the first quarter of FY21

Hardeep Singh Puri informed that the airlines have asked the government to set up an interest free credit line of at least USD 1.5 billion for the sector.
For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)
For representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  Hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, revenue of Indian airlines fell by over 85 per cent to Rs 3,651 crore during the first quarter of current financial year (FY21), Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

He also informed that the airlines have asked the government to set up an interest free credit line of at least $1.5 billion for the sector.

According  to information provided by the minister, the soon to be sold 
national carrier Air India’s total revenue reduced from Rs 7,066 crore during the April-June 2019 period to Rs 1,531 crore during Q1 FY21. Puri said that government has no other option but to divest its stake in the airline or close its operations. 

Revenue earned by Air India and Air India Express from “Vande Bharat Mission” (VBM) flights up to August 31, 2020 stood at Rs 2,021 crore and Rs 415 crore respectively, according to Puri’s written reply.

Two listed airlines, SpiceJet and IndiGo, had earlier reported a steep decline in their Q1 profit and revenue due to suspension of flight during most part of the quarter.

IndiGo’s revenue fell 92 per cent in Q1 and it reported losses worth Rs 2,844 crore, while SpiceJet posted a net loss of Rs 593 crore in the first quarter and its revenue plunged by 82.6 per cent to Rs 521 crore.

Both the airlines highlighted the current difficulties faced by the sector but said there is an improvement in the passenger traffic month-on-month. 

According to latest DGCA data, domestic airlines flew 28.32 lakh passengers in August, up from 21.07 lakh in July. However, year-on-year, the traffic was down by 76 per cent. Airlines have also asked for banks and financial institutions to defer repayment of loans by six months, Puri said.

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