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Jet Airways' profit claim contradicted

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | June 12, 2003 10:24 IST

The controversy over Jet Airways' profits has taken a new turn with the government's recent disclosure in Parliament that the leading carrier incurred losses for the three years between 1999-2000 and 2001-02.

However, in August 2001, Jet had submitted data to the civil aviation ministry showing profits for 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

According to figures tabled by the finance ministry in the Lok Sabha on May 9 this year, Jet's losses in 1999-2000 stood at Rs 21.57 crore (Rs 215.7 million). These quadrupled to Rs 80.05 crore (Rs 800.5 million) in 2000-01 and further shot up to Rs 177.53 crore (Rs 1.77 billion) in 2001-02.

The airline, in its earlier disclosure to the erstwhile ministry of civil aviation and tourism in August 2001, said it posted a net profit of Rs 10.17 crore (Rs 101.7 million) in 1999-2000. The profits were 20 per cent higher in the next financial year at Rs 12.46 crore (Rs 124.6 million).

Jet Airways is yet to respond to a faxed questionnaire sent by Business Standard on Monday.

The May 9 disclosure in Parliament also stated that the airline's deemed income under Section 115JA/115JB of the Income Tax Act stood at Rs 3.79 crore (Rs 37.9 million) in 1999-2000 and Rs 13.64 crore (Rs 136.4 million) in 2000-01.

Accordingly, Jet paid taxes of Rs 1.46 crore (Rs 14.6 million) and Rs 1.16 crore (Rs 11.6 million) in 1999-2000 and 2000-01, respectively.

Rival Indian Airlines, on the other hand, has been posting losses for 2000-01 and 2001-02. In 1999-2000, the government-owned carrier posted profits of Rs 45.27 crore (Rs 452.7 million), while in 2000-01 it went into the red with losses of Rs 159.17 crore (Rs 1.59 billion). In 2001-02, the losses mounted to Rs 246.75 crore (Rs 2.47 billion).

According to official figures, Indian Airlines' market share declined from 55.8 per cent in 1999 to 42.5 per cent in 2002.

Jet, on the contrary, gained market share during the period. Its chunk increased from 39.7 per cent in 1999 to 48.7 per cent in 2002.

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