India's Spicejet posted a net loss of 1.01 billion rupees ($21.4 million) in its fiscal second quarter, almost half of the 1.98 billion loss that it reported a year before.

Net sales for the three months ending 30 September increased by 31% to 4.49 billion rupees, while the total income rose by 27% to 4.65 billion rupees, says the carrier. Expenditure was lower during the quarter, helped by a 16% drop in fuel costs to 2.1 billion rupees.

The carrier, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and partly owned by US private equity firm WL Ross & Co, did not provide reasons for its results.

Earlier in 2009, it said that it may buy a rival domestic low-cost carrier as part of its expansion plans. SpiceJet has been linked with low-cost carriers GoAir and IndiGo in the past, although it has denied holding talks about a possible merger with these carriers.

The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 737-800/900ER aircraft, and plans to launch international services in May 2010 and serve Southeast Asia, South Asia and the Gulf states.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news