Indian carrier IndiGo's Q3 profit doubles on strong demand, fares


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BENGALURU, Feb 2 (Reuters) - IndiGo operator Interglobe Aviation INGL.NS reported more than two-fold growth in third-quarter profit on Friday, helped by air travel demand and higher fares in a seasonally strong period.

The company reported a standalone profit of 29.98 billion rupees ($362 million) for the quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to 14.18 billion rupees in the year-ago period.

IndiGo, a low-cost carrier, has India's largest airline fleet of 358 aircraft and commands a market share of over 62%.

The company benefited from back-to-back festive and wedding seasons, along with the men's cricket world cup hosted in the country, analysts said.

IndiGo's revenue rose 30% to 194.52 billion rupees, which analysts attributed to higher fares.

Its expenses rose 22% as fuel costs - which account for 40% of the total - rose 18%. Foreign exchange losses, however, narrowed by over 91%.

IndiGo's load factor, or the utilised passenger carrying capacity, improved to 85.8% from 85.1%.

Yield - the average revenue earned per passenger kilometre - rose 2% to 5.48 rupees per kilometre.

Its shares ended 2% higher on Friday at their best-ever closing price of 3,127.1 rupees.

($1 = 82.8850 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)

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