India's Jet Airways swung to a net profit of 1.05 billion rupees ($22.8 million) for the three months to 31 December on lower costs and higher passenger traffic numbers.

The results mark a return to the black after two consecutive quarters of losses, and compares to a net loss of 2.14 billion rupees a year before. While income at India's largest carrier by traffic fell by 4% to 28.9 billion rupees, expenditure fell by 17% to 26.2 billion rupees.

"In the quarter ending December 2009, the domestic and international traffic for Jet grew by 38% and 24% with the onset of a more favourable environment in the aviation industry. As the tide turned, Jet was well positioned to consolidate its gains on all fronts," says CEO Nikos Kardassis.

"The achievement is a result of Jet's constant quest for innovation in product and service, its fiscal and marketing initiatives, the introduction of new routes, continuous effort to reduce operating and non-operating expenses, as well as the hard work, dedication and commitment of our staff."

Indian carriers have cut capacity over the last 18 months to cope with the economic downturn, and they have benefited as domestic passenger traffic grew by 29% in the quarter from a year before. Jet says that the airlines are reporting "high levels of seat factors as well as yield growth", and adds that "the trends for next few months look healthy".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news