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SpiceJet posts record profit as Jet downfall drives demand

Domestic air traffic growth has been slowing in recent months in a flagging economy, but the downfall of Jet Airways, once the country`s largest private carrier, this year has helped SpiceJet and market leader IndiGo attract more customers, raise fares and add routes.

SpiceJet posts record profit as Jet downfall drives demand

Bengaluru: Indian budget airline SpiceJet Ltd on Friday posted its biggest ever quarterly profit, as it flew more passengers and raised fares in the wake of the collapse of Jet Airways.

Domestic air traffic growth has been slowing in recent months in a flagging economy, but the downfall of Jet Airways, once the country`s largest private carrier, this year has helped SpiceJet and market leader IndiGo attract more customers, raise fares and add routes.

Shares in SpiceJet and InterGlobe Aviation-owned IndiGo have soared 55% and 31% respectively this year.

SpiceJet`s shares rose as much as 5.5% to 143.45 rupees on Friday after the results, in a Mumbai market that had risen by 1.18% as of 0806 GMT.

SpiceJet said passenger fares rose 11% during the three months to June, a quarter in which it cancelled some flights due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX after Ethiopian Airlines` deadly crash in March.

"The results would have been vastly better but for the painful grounding of the MAX aircraft," Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said in a statement.

SpiceJet added 32 aircraft between April and June. Jet began grounding its planes at the start of the year and was eventually forced to stop operations in April.

SpiceJet`s standalone net profit, excluding earnings of non-core units, was 2.62 billion rupees ($37.1 million) in the three months to June, compared with a loss of 380.6 million rupees a year earlier.