Struggling SpiceJet given lifeline

SpiceJet has reduced its fleet size in recent months
SpiceJet has reduced its fleet size in recent months

SpiceJet, the struggling Indian low-cost carrier, has been offered a lifeline by its founder, Ajay Singh.

Singh, who sold a large stake in SpiceJet to Kalanidhi Maran in 2010, has now returned to the ailing airline with a long-term investment plan intended to secure the carrier’s future.

According to an Economic Times report, Singh is now planning to pump up to INR15 billion (US$242 million) into SpiceJet, and is also seeking to attract other investors, including international companies. Under the plan, Maran’s Sun Group would also infuse INR800m into the loss-making airline.

“The airline has given a revival and restructuring plan to the Civil Aviation Ministry for change in control, which has to be cleared by it. Once they do it, we will execute the revival plan,” Singh was quoted telling reporters in Delhi.

He added that the turnaround plan would involve “financing and operational efficiency”. When asked whether there would be staff cuts, Singh said he would “try to keep it at minimum”.

SpiceJet has grounded more than 100 daily flights in recent months as financial problems forced it to reduce its fleet. It posted a fifth straight quarterly loss in the three months ending 30 September 2014.

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