Low-cost private carrier SpiceJet is working on adding two more international destinations, including Dammam and Kuala Lumpur by the end of the current fiscal while it will also increase frequencies on certain existing global routes, taking foreign flights per day from 28 to about 42 by end of March 2014.
The carrier will also consider foreign direct investment if it is economically viable for it, V Raja, senior vice-president (commercial), said today while launching daily flights to Bangkok from Pune and Bangalore, making it the 10th foreign destination for the airline.
“We are going to start operations to Dammam (Saudi Arabia) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) within this financial year. We are currently working on the financial details and also trying to increase frequencies to certain existing destinations,” Raja told reporters here.
He said SpiceJet is looking to induct a strategic partner. Asked whether SpiceJet was in talks with any foreign carrier for investment, he said these were “only reports” but added that “if there is a good proposal which is economically good for us, it will be wrong not to look at it”.
There have been reports that SpiceJet, promoted by Kalanithi Maran’s Sun Group, is in talks with Qatar Airways for a possible alliance.
According to a recent report of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, the modest profitability of the low-cost carrier in the first quarter was not encouraging and given the current weakness in the market, SpiceJet may be headed for a record second quarter loss. According to the airlines’ annual report , it is banking on increased international footprint in the current fiscal for possible capacity addition in the domestic market.
During the occasion, Anil Wadhwa, Ambassador of India to Thailand, said the growing number of flights from India would further cement the bilateral ties between the two nations and improve regional connectivity. Currently, there are 156 flights per week between the two countries.
“Last year over 1.15 million Indians visited Thailand, while 88,000 Thai visitors went to India, mainly to Buddhist pilgrimage sites,” he said.
SpiceJet is the only low-cost carrier besides IndiGo which has international footprints. Apart from Thailand, the other international destinations include Dubai, Kabul, Male, Riyadh, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Colombo and Kathmandu.
(The reporter was in Bangkok on the invitation of SpiceJet)
* SpiceJet launches daily flights to Bangkok from Pune and Bangalore, making it the 10th foreign destination for the airlines
* Plans to start operations to Dammam (Saudi