SpiceJet has received the government’s nod to operate flights to the US and the UK. It has already operated over 450 charter flights to repatriate over 75,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad. The airline will also operate its first long-haul flight from Amsterdam to Bengaluru on August 1.
In terms of Air Services Agreement between Government of India and the governments of USA and the UK, SpiceJet has been designated as an Indian scheduled carrier to operate to the two countries. On this, Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, says, “The UK and the US are two of the top international destinations for airlines and we are delighted to have got this designation to operate to these two countries. There is an opportunity in every adversity, and the present crisis has seen SpiceJet rise to the occasion and play a pivotal role. From operating over 4300 cargo flights to over 400 charter flights to bring stranded Indian nationals back home, SpiceJet has worked non-stop and contributed in whatever manner possible.” In addition to the charter flights, SpiceJet has been actively participating in the Vande Bharat Mission, operating 25 flights.
Business in FY2019-20
In terms of business operations, the recently-released Q4 results of FY2020 reveal that SpiceJet incurred a net loss of `807.1 crore against a profit of `56.3 crore in the same quarter of the previous year. The airline reported a net loss of `934.8 crore in FY2020. Singh says that two factors that adversely impacted the airline’s performance and bottom line were the COVID-19 pandemic and grounding of the 737 MAX. In terms of operational parameters, SpiceJet had the best passenger load factor amongst all airlines in the country during the quarter and the year. The average domestic load factor for the quarter was 90 per cent while for fiscal 2020 it was 92 per cent.
Key business updates for FY2019-20:
- Passenger capacity up by 40%; operating income up by 36%
- Aircraft fleet at 114 as on March 31, 2020
- Clocked 90%+ PLF for 58 successive months till February’20
- Operated 570 average daily passenger flights before COVID-19
- Signed definitive codeshare agreement with Emirates
- Likely return to service of MAX in Q1 of CY2021 to be big boost