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'Red, hot and spicy': SpiceJet set to expand fleet

As the company celebrates its 10th anniversary, SpiceJet co-founder Ajay Singh reveals what the future has in store for the budget airline.

business Updated: Jun 07, 2015 18:09 IST
Ajay Singh,SpiceJet,Budget airline

With fortunes of SpiceJet on an "upswing again", its chairman and main promoter Ajay Singh is looking for funding for expanding the fleet, even as he continues to explore various investment options.

Singh, the airline's original co-founder, has so far invested about Rs 800 crore into the no-frills airline since he returned to the helm last December after a major crisis had hit the company. As part of a detailed plan designed to bolster its fortunes, SpiceJet's immediate priority was to further "regain consumer confidence" before embarking on fleet expansion, he said.

"We were at a phase where the airline was actually shut down... The focus is now on getting back consumer confidence and we will work on that for a few more months," Singh told reporters here. When asked about his fund infusion plans, Singh said so far he has invested about Rs 800 crore into the carrier.

"SpiceJet is on a highly visible upswing again... the funding requirement depends on how much the company needs," he said."Some investors are interested in the airline... We continue to look at options, he added.

Under the revival plan, Singh was to invest Rs 1,500 crore in the carrier.SpiceJet plans to add six to seven new aircraft by end of this fiscal year 2015-16. Singh was talking to reporters on Saturday to announce various initiatives to mark the airline's 10th anniversary.

After seven quarters of losses, SpiceJet posted a net profit of Rs 22.51 crore in the January-March period. The profit was generated by several measures, including re-negotiated contracts and settlements and provisioning for re-delivery expenses.

The airline had reported a net loss of Rs 321.5 crore in the same period a year ago. Elaborating on future plans, Singh said the priority is to "refocus on core values" such as on-time performance and safety.

"We need to get back our operations in order... We will also look at further automating and integrating our backend operations apart from making adjustments to existing network," he added.

To commemorate a decade since its formation, SpiceJet unveiled a new brand look and slogan - 'SpiceJet is different. It is Red. Hot. Spicy'. The airline also launched a new app, which experts say will see a rise in the number of bookings processed.

First Published: Jun 07, 2015 18:01 IST