SpiceJet needs Rs 200 cr to use airports on credit

Till 3 pm on Friday, SpiceJet operated 132 of the planned 200 flights for the day.

While the cash strapped SpiceJet is looking for potential investors in near future, the budget carrier will have to show at least Rs 200 crore in its accounts for it to be allowed to continue using airport facilities without having to pay each time its aircraft land and take off from December 31, senior government officials said on Friday.

Officials said the reprieve extended to the airline was temporary, for a period of 15 days that expire on December 31. “The airline may then be asked to pay for service unless it can show funds in the bank,” the official said.

Meanwhile, the airline announced on Friday that its operations were back to normal. Till 3 pm on Friday, the airline operated 132 of the planned 200 flights for the day. On Thursday, SpiceJet had operated 218 of the scheduled 230 departures, officials said. In a statement, the airline said it had operated additional flights on several sectors, including Port Blair and Goa since Wednesday evening.

The carrier, which is under a debt of about Rs 1,600 crore as on December 5, has been in talks with various investors for a bailout. Ajay Singh, one of the original promoters of SpiceJet on Thursday met not only the senior airline officials, but also with civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathy Raju.

Sources said Singh, together with other investors, has expressed keen interest in buying a majority stake in the troubled airliner.

Cheering the move, shares of the carrier soared 19.70 per cent to settle at Rs 15.80, the upper circuit limit of the stock on BSE.

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