Spicejet to add 5 more aircraft to its fleet by fiscal 2012

Tuesday, April 6, 2010, 10:00 by Aviation Correspondent

Low cost carrier Spicejet has lined up plans to add to its fleet at least five more aircraft by fiscal 2012. The airline had recently taken delivery of its 20th aircraft, and with five more on their way, it seems like the low cost carrier is set for added attention.

Industry observers feel that addition of 5 more planes in financial year 2012 would help Spicejet add capacity of around 20 per cent per annum over the next two years. This capacity is likely to be utilized for international operations and furthering its presence in the domestic routes. Spicejet, incidentally, has been witnessing excellent occupancy levels during the past few months.

Currently operating around 125 flights daily to 19 destinations covering all regions of India, Spicejet has scored high, and its on-time performance is regarded as among the best in the Indian aviation scenario. This, coupled with a technical dispatch reliability of 99.6%, has ensured that it has resorted to the least number of flight cancellations.

The second-largest low-cost carrier (LCC) after Indigo,  Spicejet has configured all flights in a single economy class having 189 seats. This, reports say, is among the highest in the industry compared with 150 seats by a full-service carrier. The company has also managed to latch in to a market share of about 12.5% in the domestic market. Spcejet, which will be completing its fifth year of operation in May this year, will kick off its international operations by next year. By doing so, it will have another first against its name. The airline will be the first private domestic budget carrier and third overall, after Jet Airways and Kingfisher, to fly overseas.

Besides all these positives, SpiceJet also has against its name a low turnaround time of its aircraft, resulting in better aircraft utilisation of about 12 hours compared with 9-10 hours taken by others. It is also seen as gaining from relatively stable crude oil prices, and is expected to help it maintain low fares. With the new aircraft to be added in the next couple of years, Spicejet now expects to see capacity addition happening for sure. This, the airline believes, would help in its international operations and added revenues in the long term.