New Delhi: As it moves to expand its global presence, budget carrier SpiceJet plans to aggressively augment capacity by 80 per cent during the current fiscal, a top company official said on Tuesday.
As per the plan, the airline will induct 60 aircraft, including 30 from the recently grounded Jet Airways, SpiceJet Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kiran Koteshwar told IANS.
“We plan to expand our total capacity by 80 per cent during this (financial) year,” Koteshwar said.
“We have already inducted 22 aircraft from lessors of Jet Airways. We plan to induct another eight aircraft from the lessors within the next 10-15 days.”
Besides aircraft from Jet’s lessors, the airline will add another 30 planes as part of the planned inductions.
According to Koteshwar, the airline expects the 13 grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to enter service after the global ban on these planes are lifted.
The airline has, however, not yet received any reimbursements or compensation for the grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
On high air ticket prices, the CFO said that fares will soon even out, as the industry will attract more passengers and that the decline in traffic during April 2019 is a short-term trend.
Lately, high fares caused by capacity constraint and slowdown in economic activity has subdued passenger traffic. The growth rate of this high-frequency indicator is usually 1.3-1.4 times the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of the country.
India’s monthly air passenger traffic on a year-on-year basis fell in April for the very first time in the last six years. passenger traffic growth rate was in double digits for over 50 months.
In April, the air passenger traffic declined (-) 4.50 per cent to 1.09 crore from 1.15 crore reported for the corresponding month of the previous fiscal.A
Despite these factors, SpiceJet has reported a 22 per cent rise in its net profit for the fourth quarter of 2018-19.
The airline’s net profit increased to Rs 56.3 crore in the three months ended March 2019, from Rs 46.2 crore reported for the corresponding period of 2017-18.
For the full fiscal 2018-19, however, the airline reported a net loss of Rs 316.1 crore, against a profit of Rs 557.2 crore reported during the previous fiscal.