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Jet Airways to repay $600 mn debt by March

Last updated on: November 05, 2012 19:18 IST

The Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways on Monday said it will retire $600-million debt by this fiscal end by way of sale and lease back of some its aircraft.

"We have been steadily repaying our debt, both working capital and working capital loans. By March, we expect our debt to come down to $1.96 billion from the current $2.3 billion and we would have repaid over $600 million of our debt this fiscal," Jet Airways chief financial officer Ravi Shankar G told analysts in a post-earnings conference call on Monday.

The total debt on the company's balance sheet stood at Rs 12,000 crore (Rs 120 billion) by the end of the September quarter against $2.4 billion in the June quarter, he said.

"We are looking at more sale and lease back options in the current quarter in addition to those done in the previous two quarters. This will result in cash surplus and consequentially reduction in the working capital loan as well as lowering of interest cost going forward," Ravi Shankar said.

With business class load factor going up, the company is looking at reconfiguring some of its 162-seater aircraft to add more business class seats, he added.

Jet Airways is looking at more full service operations in lieu of Jet

Konnect for the peak season, Ravi Shankar added.

The company also said it will soon lease out some of its A330s, which are currently grounded after the airline pulled out from certain international routes.

"We are looking at leasing some of the A330s, which are grounded, over the next few weeks for 12-18 months period. These aircraft are expected to fetch a rental of $1 million per aircraft per month," company's vice president for commercial strategy and investor relations KG Vishwanath said.

Besides, the airline is also exploring options to further lease some of its five Boeing 777s, which are currently leased to Thai Airways and will come back next year after the expiry of the contract, Vishwanath said.

Jet Airways raised $42 million by way of outright sales, and sale and lease back of seven Boeing 737s in the previous quarter, which helped it reduce debt as well as working capital loans, he said.

Meanwhile, Ravi Shankar said the airline's ancillary revenue rose to 20 per cent year-on-year after the introduction of pre-seat booking charges, enhanced on-board offerings, sale of merchandising and other offerings on its website.

"We expect the ancillary revenue, which currently stands at $8 per ticket per passenger, to go up significantly in the coming quarter," he added.

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