SpiceJet to expand fleet, targets seven airports in east

Tuesday, 28 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Kolkata: SpiceJet, one of India's fast growing low-cost airlines, would induct 20 more aircraft by 2009 and will soon add Port Blair as its 16th destination, the carrier said Wednesday.

"In the first phase, we would introduce 10 more aircraft in our network by October 2008. Another 10 aircraft would be introduced by 2009 with an investment of $450-500 million," SpiceJet Ltd chief commercial officer (CCO) Samyukth Sridhraran told reporters here.

The company presently has 24 aircraft operating over 89 daily flights from 15 cities in India.

He said for the 10 aircraft to be operational from 2009 onwards, the company might go for equity share, lease or self-financing.

"But that would be finalised only after internal board meeting. We are also having dialogues with financial institutions, US-EXIM Bank, for providing 85 percent of funds," he added.

Sridhraran said that SpiceJet is further focusing on cost reduction, ancillary services along with in-flight promotions, selling food on-board and on-board courier. The company would also add more Boeing aircraft to increase its fleet size, adding more destinations to the existing network.

"We are targeting about 13 billion business in 2007-08. In the first quarter of the current financial year we had a business of 3.11 billion registering a growth of 77 percent," he told IANS.

He said SpiceJet is also looking at seven airports - Kolkata, Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Imphal, Guwahati, Silchar and Bagdogra - in the eastern region to operate more flights.

All these seven airports in India have registered a robust growth over past few years and have a good prospect to operate aircraft with multiple options.

The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata also posted almost 43 percent growth in the past one year.

"Keeping in mind the rapid economic development, we are going to make Kolkata a hub to operate more number of flights in next one year," Sridhraran said.

SpiceJet will also introduce a direct flight between Kolkata and New Delhi from Aug 29 and between Kolkata and Bangalore from Oct 29.
Source: IANS
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