* Q2 loss of 997 mln rupees vs 7.14 bln y/y
* Income from operations jumps 26 pct
* Jet benefiting from Kingfisher's troubles
MUMBAI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Jet Airways India Ltd,
India's biggest airline, beat estimates with a 86 percent cut in
its second-quarter losses thanks to a jump in operating income,
sending its shares as much as 5.5 percent higher.
Jet, which posted its first quarterly profit in 18 months
last quarter, has benefited from a shutdown at rival Kingfisher
Airlines which has eased over capacity and allowed
other airlines to increase their fares in India's competitive
India's airlines have suffered from high fuel costs,
below-cost fares in a highly competitive market and tough
regulations in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.
"Improvement in yields has helped the group to post an
operating profit," Nikos Kardassis, chief executive officer,
said in a statement. "However, lean season, slowdown in industry
passenger traffic due to weakened economic scenario, high fuel
prices coupled with high rupee depreciation versus the dollar
has pulled the overall results down."
Kingfisher, saddled with $1.4 billion in debt, has not flown
since Oct. 1. It had been steadily cutting flights for the past
year, driving passengers to carriers such as Jet, SpiceJet
and privately held Indigo.
Jet said its EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation, amortisation and aircraft rent) margin at its
domestic operations was 9.3 percent, against a negative margin
of 8.1 percent in the year-ago quarter.
The airline will continue its drive to discontinue
loss-making routes and add capacity to performing sectors, it
said in a statement on Friday.
Jet said its net loss for the quarter to end-September was
997 million rupees ($18.6 million), down from 7.14 billion the
previous year, thanks to a 26 percent jump in income from
operations. Expectations were for a net loss of about 2.7
billion rupees, traders told Reuters.
Shares in the airline, valued at $563 million by the market,
closed up 3.1 percent on a Mumbai market that ended 1
($1 = 53.7600 rupees)
(Reporting by Henry Foy; Editing by Robert Birsel)