IndiGo, India’s largest airline, said on Wednesday it planned to raise at least Rs 2,000 crore through the sale and leaseback of planes and other assets, after reporting its steepest quarterly loss in at least five years. Chief Financial Officer Aditya Pande said the airline, owned by Interglobe Aviation Ltd, would consider raising even more than Rs 2,000 crore and the board would meet on Thursday to discuss this. “Managing cash continues to remain our primary focus and we continue to work with all our stakeholders to raise liquidity,” Pande told analysts on a call, adding it was in advanced talks on selling and leasing back some of its unencumbered assets.
Pande did not say how much additional cash the airline could raise on top of the Rs 2,000 crore announced on Wednesday.
Airlines globally are looking for ways boost their finances after the coronavirus crisis kept travellers at home. The airline industry body IATA forecasts passenger traffic will not return to pre-crisis levels until 2024.
Indigo temporarily halted operations in March when India began a two-month lockdown, at a time when the carrier was already grappling with higher maintenance costs and weak demand. It has been slowly rebuilding its schedule.
Rival Indian carrier SpiceJet said it had deferred payments to vendors and statutory authorities, and was renegotiating some contracts, particularly with aircraft lessors.
IndiGo, which reported a net loss of Rs 2,849 crore in April to June compared with a Rs 1,200 crore profit a year earlier, said last week it would cut 10 per cent of its workforce.
The airline reduced its daily fixed cash burn to Rs 30 crore in April to June from Rs 40 crore in the previous three months, Pande said, adding it expected to end the year with 30 per cent lower employee costs. IndiGo expects to operate about 40 per cent of its average seat capacity from July to September compared with the same period a year earlier and 60 per cent to 70 per cent in the following quarter, if rules allowed, Pande said.