Govt approves revival plan and new management may expand the fleet
GN Bureau | January 22, 2015
The budget carrier SpiceJet has received another lifeline on Thursday as aviation regulator Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has allowed the airline to accept advance bookings beyond March 31. The summer schedule of the airlines commences from March 29 and lasts up to October end.
"SpiceJet is pleased to announce that bookings for its flights are now open for its summer schedule," the airline said in a statement.
It was earlier restricted to undertake bookings only up to March 31, following financial crisis and cancellation of flights.
Last week, SpiceJet board had approved a proposal that promoter Kalanithi Maran would transfer ownership, management and control of the airline to original founder Ajay Singh as part of plans to revive the ailing carrier.
This week the aviation ministry gave initial approval to the airline's revival plan submitted by Ajay Singh. The ministry has referred Singh's plan to infuse Rs 1,500 crore by March-end along with a unit of US-based JPMorgan Chase, to stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) to examine if this funding will trigger open offer.
With the ministry clearing Singh's plan, funding may start flowing in and the airline be able to resolve issues. On Wednesday evening, SpiceJet COO Sanjiv Kapoor tweeted: "...company is changing hands and being recapitalized, this will take care of legacy issues. We are working on it 24x7."
"SpiceJet thanks its customers, employees, partners, and suppliers for their support as it continues on its re-structuring and turnaround plan," the airline said.
Meanwhile, Ajay Singh wants to expand the fleet of Boeing aircraft to 26 from 19 at present and also the airlines has assured the ministry that all those people who are asked to leave(nearly 2,000) will merely be on furlough. This means they will just be 'benched' and will likely be taken back when Boeing fleet expands.