As the year ended with optimism, Indian private carriers are gearing up to raise around $1 billion (Rs 4,600 crore) during the new financial year to de-leverage their balance sheets and meet capital requirement plans.
While Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways and Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines would each raise up to $400 million (Rs 1,840 crore), budget carrier SpiceJet would mop up $80 million to $100 million (Rs 368 crore to Rs 460 crore) this year.
Experts say there could be unplanned fund raising of another $100 million (Rs 460 crore) by these carriers and other private players.
“We have seen robust and sustained growth. The coming quarters are also looking bright. There is a requirement to raise between $900 million to $1 billion. Air India could raise additional $1 billion,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia), Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA).
Jet Airways, which received permission to raise funds through the QIP route in December, has not indicated the exact timing yet. Airline officials said they were looking for better valuations. However, a Jet Airways communication official offered no comment.
Vijay Mallya is known to be keen on roping in a foreign airline as strategic investor for Kingfisher, which is rapidly expanding its international operations. But existing government norms do not allow Indian airlines to sell stake to foreign carriers. The Kingfisher spokesperson could not be contacted despite several attempts.
SpiceJet, which this week inducted its 20th aircraft, is planning to add 9 more and it has appointed financial advisors to raise funds. After May, it will be eligible to fly abroad and would require funds for expansion. SpiceJet CEO Sanjay Aggrawal said, “We have plans to raise $50 to $75 million in the next six months. The fund raising is on track.”