We had to accommodate passengers booked on our B737 Max aircraft on the new planes which started to come towards the end of May and June, says Koteshwar.
The heavy rains in southern states have made lean Q2 even tougher for airlines in terms of passenger traffic. SpiceJet’s CFO Kiran Koteshwar tells FE’s Arun Nayal about the airline’s Q1 results and the current fare scenario. Excerpts:
Could you give a break up of gains from Jet’s grounding and initiatives taken by the airline?
It is very difficult to calculate that as most of our aircraft addition was replacement capacity. We had to accommodate passengers booked on our B737 Max aircraft on the new planes which started to come towards the end of May and June. This limited our gains at a time when the fares were high due to removal of significant capacity. But we still staged a good recovery.
How were the yields during Q1FY20?
We saw yields grow at 2-3% year-on-year. Our average fares were up 11% y-o-y. India is a price-sensitive market and there is only limited thing you can do.
How does the current fare scenario look like?
It is a tough quarter (Q2FY20) for the airlines. The heavy rains in the coastal belt have impacted the festival season starting with Raksha Bandhan and Ganesh Chaturthi. However, there is no risk of discounting with removal of some capacity. Hopefully, things will improve soon.
What is the status of converting ‘business class’ cabin on ex-Jet fleet into economy?
The process is on and it will take some time as there are 33 such aircraft in our fleet. We are a low-cost carrier and will continue to remain that. We aim to complete replacement process soon.