SpiceJet To Become An International Carrier Over The Next 2 Years
Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, Ajay Singh, the man responsible for reversing the fortunes of the low-cost airline was speaking about its plans for the future and the overall scenario of the aviation industry in the country. He was speaking from Davos where he had been to participate in the annual summit held by World Economic Forum.
In the context of whether the country needed to have airlines operating on long distance international routes, he felt that the responsibility of carrying our citizens abroad rested with them alone and that every Indian airline needed to tap long-distance flying opportunities. It was essential for the country to have a well-connected network by air. He gave the example of Scoot and AirAsiaX which were few among a handful of low-cost carriers who attempted to fly long haul and be successful at it. Scoot and AirAsiaX belong to Singapore and Malaysia respectively.
With regard to Air India, Singh admitted that privatization of the airline was a right move undertaken by the government; however, he made no comment on being asked whether SpiceJet would in any way be a part of the disinvestment process. There were no plans to allow foreign investment in the airline currently. As for acquisitions he felt that they could take place if the right opportunities were presented; however, there was greater scope for organic growth as well. He seemed quite positive about the current status of the aviation market in the country and disclosed the airline’s plans of becoming an international carrier in a couple of years down the line.
Presently, the number of Boeing 737NGs and Bombardier Q-400s included in SpiceJet’s fleet total 38 and 22 respectively. The number of flights undertaken by the carrier to 51 destinations on a daily basis amounted to an average of 402 counting current seven international flights. The market share of the low-cost airline in December 2017 was 12.7% as per updated data available with DGCA.