MUMBAI (AFP) – Jet Airways, India’s largest private airline, has said full-year net earnings rose 15 percent on air-traffic growth and profit from the sale and leaseback of planes.
For the year ended March 31, the airline reported net profit of 4.5 billion rupees (101 million dollars). Full-year revenues rose 39 percent to 61.4 billion rupees.
Fourth-quarter net profit soared 71 percent to 2.2 billion rupees (51 million dollars). Revenues during the three months ended March 31 climbed 61 percent to 19.7 billion rupees.
Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal said in a statement Saturday the results were strong but cautioned that high oil prices and other operational costs could affect future performance.
“We remain the market leader …. but operate in a challenging environment. We are concerned with the high level of input costs, primary fuel, and expect that the coming year could remain challenging,” he said.
Jet, which will command half of India’s aviation market after its planned 500-million-dollar purchase of rival Air Sahara, faces increasing competition from low-cost carriers such as Air Deccan, GoAir and SpiceJet.
“In coming months, we will be working towards successfully integrating Air Sahara operations into our own,” Goyal told reporters.
Jet shares rose 38.5 rupees, or 4.14 percent, to 963.05 rupees ahead of the release results in a special trading session held Saturday to test software at the Mumbai stock exchange.
India began to deregulate its aviation sector in the 1990s, allowing private players to enter the domestic market previously dominated by state-run carrier Indian, formerly known as Indian Airlines.
Jet Airways has flown nearly 60.7 million passengers since it took to the skies in 1993. It now operates 43 so-called “classic” and next-generation Boeing aircraft. The airline has an average fleet age of 5.2 years.