AI's 4th quarter revenues higher than Jet, losses lower

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With Jet Airways reporting its highest-ever annual loss of Rs 4,129 crore in 2013-14, Air India today said its financial parameters had improved significantly in comparison to its major private competitor, with its fourth quarter revenues higher and losses much lower.

While Jet had yesterday reported a Q4 revenue of Rs 4,566 crore, the national carrier's unaudited estimation of earnings stood at Rs 5,842 crore.

Similarly, Air India's net operating loss in the same quarter was Rs 961 crore, compared to Rs 2,153 crore of Jet, the figures showed.

Air India's overall annual operating loss stood at Rs 2,123 crore compared to Jet's Rs 2,360 crore, the unaudited projections showed, adding that the state-run airline's annual operating loss was estimated at Rs 2,123 crore as against Jet's Rs 2,360 crore.

When contacted, senior Air India officials also claimed gains of about eight per cent in the business class revenue.

Jet Airways has posted its highest-ever annual loss of Rs 4,129 crore, forcing it to adopt tough measures to lower costs and achieve profitability with a three-year business plan.

However, Air India officials made it clear that the major reasons for its losses were high fuel costs, primarily due to increase in its domestic and global operations, and the higher number of employees -- around 24,000. As of March 2013, Jet's employee strength stood at about 12,000.

The national carrier also has large cost of depreciation because it owns a large number of aircraft, while Jet's fleet was almost entirely on sale and leaseback (SLB), they said.

SLB is a financial transaction where one sells an asset and leases it back for the long-term, thereby allowing one to continue using the asset but no longer owning it.

Jet, which would be headed by Australian national Cramer Ball (formerly with Etihad) as its new CEO, posted a net loss of Rs 2,153 crore for the quarter ended March 31, while its consolidated loss for the full fiscal widened to Rs 4,129 crore. This was the fifth straight quarterly loss for the airline.

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