SpiceJet Limited has experienced its fair share of ups and downs throughout its existence. The Indian-based low-cost airline was founded in 2005 by Ajay Singh. It was built with passion, energy, and enthusiasm, and achieved many successes in the first 5 years of its life. Then in 2010, Ajay sold the business and things started to go downhill from there. “In fact, SpiceJet nearly closed down in December 2014,” he recalls. “It was at that point the owners approached me to see if I wanted to buy it back. I thought it was something that was really worth doing because it was a good brand and it was part of me. I had built it from scratch and I thought there was a fantastic opportunity to get involved again.”
The timing proved to be right. Prices were coming down and the Indian aviation market was showing signs of steady growth.
Ajay thought that if he could undo some of the mistakes that had been made at SpiceJet, then the company could climb back to become profitable once again. His instincts were right. In the first quarter after buying back the airline a profit was recorded, and that positive trend has continued ever since. SpiceJet has been flying with a 92% average load factor for the past twelve months and is operating more than 300 flights per day.
The focus now is on expanding the fleet of aircraft to accommodate even more flights on the daily schedule. “We have added more flights to our summer schedule and even more again to our winter schedule,” Ajay states. “I think the expansion proposed for the summer was at about 10%, and then another 10% again in the winter. We have negotiated deals with both Boeing and Airbus.”