Airline to increase fleet, but on profitable routes: Sanjiv Kapoor, Spicejet

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Published: July 29, 2015 3:46:06 AM

Sanjiv Kapoor said that while Spicejet will increase its fleet, it will only expand services on profitable international routes.

After being on the verge of shutting shop, SpiceJet came back strong to report two consecutive quarters of profit.

Airline’s chief operational officer Sanjiv Kapoor tells Rhik Kundu that while the airline will increase its fleet, it will only expand services on profitable international routes. Excerpts:

SpiceJet has reduced its capacity considerably in last one year. With the airline now reporting two consecutive quarters of profit, are you looking to expand capacity considerably?

We intend to add several planes in our fleet this fiscal. Currently, we have 20 Boeing aircraft, which is expected to increase to 25-26 by the end of the fiscal. This will add to our growth.

Are you considering increasing your international routes?

We are considering increasing our international routes, but only those that are profitable. We have cut down our loss-making routes internationally that were not performing up to our expectations. Going ahead, you will see the airline increase frequencies on profit making routes like Muscat and Dubai, among the others.

What is the status of 42 Boeing 737 aircraft order? Have you cancelled it?

It is very much in place. We hope to get the first aircraft delivered by 2017, before the original schedule of 2018.
Ajay Singh was supposed to infuse about Rs 1,500 crore into the airline, however, he has so far infused only close to Rs 650 crore.

When will the rest of the funding come?

At present, SpiceJet is not in any financial trouble. We reported two consecutive quarters of profit, beating even our own expectations. We are operationally cash positive and the pressure on cash has reduced considerably. There is no rush to bring in funding right away. However, when the funds come, it will be to fuel growth.

Most no-frills carriers operate only a single fleet since it is cost effective. Would you be considering the same?

While this is true globally, the scenario in India is different. A lot of smaller airports in the country can’t handle large aircraft, thus, turboprops are best suited for such aircraft. Also, a lot of these smaller airports are fueling huge growth. We have to keep on operating our Bombardier fleet, along with our Boeing fleet, to make the most of the growth.

From the verge of closing down to reporting two consecutive quarters of profit, what is next for SpiceJet?

We need to consolidate our position and make sure our performance is consistent. We need to rebuild our fleet to make the most of the busy season and reap the benefits of drop in fuel price, as well as perform well during the off season.

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