Regional tourism big gainer as Ajay Singh’s SpiceJet keen on seaplanes for UDAN routes

Ajay Singh
Promoter, SpiceJet

SpiceJet was taking steps to ensure low-costs of operations to maximize profitability, suggested Ajay Singh, Promoter, SpiceJet. The airline was also keen on soon operationalizing seaplanes under the regional air connectivity scheme (UDAN). As per the PTI report, he made these comments while participating in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.  “Things are shaping up quite well. We have added a lot many planes in the last few months and we will further add a lot more in this year and in the next few years,” he said. Further adding, the SpiceJet chief shared “we have also started cargo planes. It is looking quite good. The focus is clearly on growth and at the same time to keep costs lower to ensure we are profitable, and we are quite confident that we will achieve the profitability target.”

For the uninitiated, the airline has ordered for 200 planes to be delivered by 2024. The first 10 of the lot were delivered in December 2018. “In addition, we have ordered 50 smaller propeller planes, mostly for Udan type routes. Of these, currently, we have 27 planes with us, so these have started coming in quite rapidly,” he informed.

He noted that the carrier had registered profits for each quarter in 2014-2015 and the balance sheet had suffered only in the past couple of quarters, owing to an escalating cost of ATF.  “With moderation in oil prices, things should be better again. At the same time, companies like ours are also adopting new technology in terms of aircraft. The new aircraft coming in will have fuel bill reducing considerably by 15-20 per cent. When these new aircraft become a larger proportion of the fleet, then airlines like ours will become profitable in any case,” he said.

Sharing his thoughts on commencing the seaplane service, he mentioned that the carrier was keen on roping in a few planes under the UDAN scheme. “We have actually bid for some seaplane routes under the scheme now and hopefully we can soon get them started,” he said.

At the five-day WEF summit, Singh chaired the Aviation, Travel and Tourism (ATT) Governor’s meeting, effectively becoming the first Indian to chair the ATT Governors Board.

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