New Pilots

SpiceJet Plans Fleet Expansion

2015 12 28

New Delhi: SpiceJet hopes to place order for new planes this fiscal, but it's important to "put the best foot forward" and ensure aircraft are purchased in "an optimal manner", according to the airline's chairman Ajay Singh.

Getting the order "right" is important since these planes will be with SpiceJet for 10-15 years, Singh, under whose stewardship the carrier is on a revival path, said.

Noting that the response to RFP (request for proposal) for new aircraft is being evaluated, Singh said "we will take the best decision in the interest of the company".

"We hope that we can do it in this financial year... It is important to get it right. It is not important whether you do it in one or two months. Let's get it right," he said. "These orders will stay with SpiceJet for 10-15 years and we must put our best foot forward and make sure we buy these planes in an optimal manner."

Singh, who is also the managing director, was speaking to reporters after the company's annual general meeting here.

Currently, SpiceJet has some 41 planes in its fleet, including 25 Boeing 737s, 14 Bombardier Q400s and two leased Airbus 320 family.

SpiceJet is believed to be looking to order close to 150 new aircraft.

According to Singh, at this time, equity dilution will not be the best way to raise funds. "We need to find the cheapest way of financing SpiceJet.

This time, I don't think equity dilution is the best way to do it. We will look at other options," he noted.

It is looking at raising money for its ambitious fleet expansion plans.

Remaining profitable for the third consecutive quarter, SpiceJet last month posted a net profit of Rs 23.77 crore in the three months ended September on the back of a steep fall in fuel costs and other expenses.

The carrier saw the return of original promoter Singh at the helm earlier this year.

"It looks like the oil prices are going to remain benign for the next two or three quarters," Singh said, adding that the airline will try to reduce other costs so that it is insulated from the impact of a potential rise in oil prices in times to come. "We continue to focus on increasing our sources of revenue... We just need to behave sensibly."

Noting that the company has done "exceedingly well" in the past two quarters, Singh said he expects that performance to continue.

On the domestic aviation sector, he said 2016 would be a positive year provided fuel prices remain soft and the market would be stimulated with lower fares.


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