SpiceJet to raise $250mn by Aug

SpiceJet has been facing losses in the last few years, but resilience is what keeping it afloat. Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet, vouches for this spirit and shares what it takes to move forward by keeping a problem-solving attitude.

Nisha Verma

The bouncing back of aviation industry post-COVID has been unprecedented, claims Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet. “Wherever we are putting flights, they are filling up quickly and yields have been the strongest ever. This environment gives hope and strength to airlines like SpiceJet that faced significant black swan events over the last few years with the grounding of the MAX aircraft, followed by COVID,” he shared.

2025 expectations

For 2025, he is equally optimistic. “The idea is to get back into growing our fleet quickly. We barely survived the last two years. The expectation was that SpiceJet would die. As we have shown, it is very difficult to kill SpiceJet. Our DNA is to fight and stay alive. It is time for growth again. We are restructuring the liabilities that were built up at that time,” he claimed.

On the restructuring path

When asked about restructuring, Singh said, “We have gone through about 30 per cent of it so far. Everything else is in discussion. We expect that over the next two quarters, we will completely clean up the balance sheet and be completely poised for growth again. We got about $150 million as funding and we are raising another $250 million by the end of July or mid-August.

Government support

Singh has been a strong mouthpiece of the industry in front of the government. Speaking on what the government needs to do, he said, “This government has already made it clear that they are looking for economic growth and simplification of process. While we have spoken to them for the last 20 years on simplification of taxes, getting aviation turbine fuel into GST. It’s heartening to note that even before this new government was inaugurated, they were already having meetings with the airlines asking for ideas on how they can get a quick start. In that, there are issues like differential taxation on import of aviation parts. Every part has a different regime and a different tax. Can we simplify that and have a flat 5 per cent tax on all aviation parts? Top priority should be getting ATF under GST. How can we get hubs into our country? How do we simplify that process in a regulatory sense?” he asked.

Unified approach

As an industry, he said that it’s important to not give the government a laundry list of issues. “Often, we show up just before the budget and share our demands. It does not form part of the budget as we are too late. Hence, we need to go early and put 2-3 issues and keep hammering on them in unison,” he said. To make that voice more effective, Federation of Indian Aviation (FIA) can take the lead.

New airport scenario

Responding to how new airports in Delhi and Mumbai will fare for SpiceJet, Singh said, “The more capacity the better. We hope that it will also be rationally priced. One must first build capacity and then fill it. It’s critical to focus on building hubs in our country. We must get this government to focus on ensuring that Indian hubs no longer reside in the Middle East or in the Southeast Asia but reside in our country. The beneficiaries of that will be the entire Indian aviation and not just Air India and IndiGo. We must ensure that Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai can become international hubs and start to take a portion of the traffic that is currently flowing through Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Singapore.”






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