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SpiceJet posts 22% jump in fourth-quarter profit, sees strong year ahead

A SpiceJet passenger aircraft Boeing 737-800 is seen after it overshoot the runway while landing on Tuesday night at the airport in Mumbai, India, September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Shailesh Andrade/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - Budget airline SpiceJet Ltd posted a 22% jump in fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, as it flew more customers and was able to raise prices at a time when the industry benefited from the collapse of Jet Airways.

Indian carriers, including budget airlines SpiceJet and Interglobe Aviation Ltd’s IndiGo, have been taking advantage of debt-laden Jet’s downfall, adding flights and routes and raising fares in response to a drop in capacity.

“(With) significant improvements in yields and prime slots at key airports, we are confident of a strong performance for FY2020,” Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said in a statement.

SpiceJet said it added 25 aircraft in April and May. Jet started grounding planes at the beginning of the year and was eventually forced to stop operations in April.

On Tuesday, SpiceJet said it would add 35 aircraft to its fleet by fiscal 2020 and that average fare rose 11% and capacity increased 21% in the reported quarter.

Standalone net profit, excluding earnings of units SpiceJet Merchandise, SpiceJet Technic and Canvin Real Estate, reached 562.9 million rupees ($8.08 million) in January-March, from 461.5 million rupees in the same period a year earlier.

($1 = 69.6930 rupees)

Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Subhranshu Sahu