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Indigo says January-March quarterly profit to be hit by coronavirus outbreak

FILE PHOTO: An IndiGo Airlines Airbus A320 aircraft takes off in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s biggest airline IndiGo expects its Jan-March earnings to be materially impacted due to a sharp decline in daily bookings because of the outbreak of coronavirus, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company said in the months of January and February the impact due to the coronavirus outbreak was modest, but in recent days its has seen daily bookings come down by 15%-20% on a week-on-week basis.

“We expect our quarterly earnings to be materially impacted,” the statement said.

Indigo, owned by Interglobe Aviation Ltd, cancelled its flights to China and Hong Kong, and also reduced the frequency to some South East Asian countries, it said.

The coronavirus is hurting passenger airlines that are staring at a revenue loss of over $100 billion this year, an industry body has warned.

IndiGo has a fleet of over 250 aircraft and international flights make up about 25% of its total capacity and revenue, the airline’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in an analyst call in January.

It also warned a sharp fall seen in the Indian rupee will have an adverse impact on its dollar-denominated liabilities.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah; editing by David Evans