NEW DELHI: No-frills carrier SpiceJet will start flights from the North East to Bangladesh and Myanmar by the end of June and aims to bring back four grounded planes, including two Boeing 737 aircraft, back into service by June 15. The airline, which completed 18 years of operations on Tuesday, is facing financial headwinds and has undertaken a “restructuring exercise” to further reduce the liabilities.
In a release, the carrier said it will start two international UDAN flights on the Agartala-Chattogram-Agartala and Imphal-Mandalay-Imphal sectors by June-end.
“The airline also plans to launch a new UDAN flight on Kolkata-Tezpur-Kolkata sector and restart Kolkata-Gwalior-Kolkata and Jammu-Gwalior-Jammu UDAN flights. In addition, SpiceJet will launch flights on Kolkata-Agartala-Kolkata and Kolkata-Imphal-Kolkata sectors and restart flights on Kolkata-Chattogram-Kolkata sector,” it said.
UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) or the regional air connectivity scheme of the Indian government is aimed at making flying more affordable for people.
Meanwhile, the airline is working to bring back 25 of its grounded aircraft back into service.
“The airline is targeting the return of four of its grounded aircraft, two Boeing 737s and two Q400s, by June 15. More planes will be back in operations in the following weeks,” the release said.
In a message to the staff, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said that as part of the airline’s overall growth strategy, “a restructuring exercise is underway to further reduce the liability of the company as it will allow us to pursue our growth targets with focused efficiency”.
Recently, the airline hived off the logistics business SpiceXpress into a separate entity. “There is large investor interest in our logistics business,” Singh said.
UK-based group SRAM & MRAM Group has committed to invest USD 100 million in SpiceXpress.
“It’s in our DNA to never give up. In the most testing times, SpiceJet has surprised the world with its tenacity and courage, and we will do it again,” he noted.
On May 11, SpiceJet said it has no plans to file for insolvency proceedings and has also started the process of reviving its grounded fleet with USD 50 million. The statement had come against the backdrop of a lessor filing an insolvency resolution plea against the airline and crisis-hit rival Go First being admitted for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).
SpiceJet operated its first commercial flight on May 23, 2005 from Delhi to Ahmedabad.
To mark the 18th anniversary, SpiceJet has started a special sale with one-way domestic fares starting at Rs 1,818 on select routes. The offer will be valid for bookings made between May 23 and 28 for the travel period between July 1 and March 30, 2024.
Shares of SpiceJet plunged nearly 14 per cent to close at Rs 24.16 apiece on BSE on Tuesday.