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SpiceJet says not selling slots to Qatar Airways

Posted on May 23 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, May 23 : Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet Friday refuted reports that it was in talks with Qatar Airways for selling its overseas slots. The company, however, reiterated that it is in discussion with an external entity for getting funds.

The news of Qatar Airways' interest in buying SpiceJet's overseas slots led the company's scrip at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) to end Friday's trade up 12.83 percent or 2.40 points at Rs.21.10 from its previous close of Rs.18.70.

In a filing to the BSE, the company refuted the slot selling reports. However, the airline said its discussions with an external entity are on to augment revenues and savings.

"We are in discussion with an entity and as and when some thing happens we will take a decision and announce it," Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer, said at an event here.

However, the company did not divulge the identity of the external entity.

The company is also in the midst of restructuring its business model, aircraft seating types and route rationalisation to augment overall revenue.

The company recently reported a record annual loss of Rs.1,003.24 crore, and an increase of 73 percent in its net loss for the fourth quarter of last fiscal at Rs.321.51 crore.

The company has returned four of its Boeing 737 and is rearranging seat pattern in its present fleet of 36 aircraft for offering more premium economy seat options to its flyers.

The company plans to add international destinations like Dhaka and Hong Kong on its network. It would restart flights to Bangkok after political situation gets normalised there.

It has also sought the aviation regulator's nod to operate 7,000 seats per week to Qatar. This will be its fourth destination in the Middle East after Dubai, Sharjah and Muscat if the proposal goes through.

In terms of ancillary revenue, the airline is planning to introduce new products and has announced partnership with TajSATS and Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) to offer an all-new food and beverage (F and B) menu.

The F and B segment accounts for the third largest revenue stream in the overall ancillary revenue of the airline that in itself has a 8-10 percent share of total revenue.

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