India: 'Spicejet is an extremely safe airline', says chairman

Minor snags are part and parcel of this industry, he claims



Photo: ANI
Photo: ANI

By ANI

Published: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 7:26 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Aug 2022, 7:32 PM

Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of low-cost airline SpiceJet, has described the aviation sector as "not doing well" due to the Russia-Ukraine war, which has in turn led to oil supply and demand issues.

Singh said that he is eagerly looking to sell his stake in the airline through multiple channels.

Speaking to ANI on Tuesday, during the roundtable meeting with the CEOs of trade body Assocham, Singh said: "It's not just SpiceJet. I think you can't say all is well with every airline in the world today. We are ensuring that we become stronger with time.

Hopefully oil prices will be coming down, and as we have seen demand is picking up. New aircraft will also join the SpiceJet fleet soon. We are on our way to a better future."

Singh further described the aviation sector as a whole as not doing well, citing the Russia-Ukraine war, and the subsequent issues created with oil supply and demand, as a reason.

"The Russia-Ukraine war's global impact on oil prices reached a level that was completely unheard of. Jet fuel prices as a consequence have also shot up, to the point where they now contribute 70 to 80 per cent of airline revenue.

Therefore, of course, this has had a grave and very, very damaging impact," he said.

Recent reports indicated problems that SpiceJet planes and its lessors had been having regarding pending dues with the Airports Authority of India (AAI). The dues had been a matter of concern for the low-cost carrier, but Singh has clarified that all ongoing issues have since been resolved.

"Just as we have always found settlements with all our partners, all settlements with every single lessor has also been done," Singh stated. Earlier, SpiceJet had announced that the company has entered into an agreement with aircraft lessor Goshawk Aviation Limited and its affiliated leasing entities.

On issues with reporting malfunctions in daily operations, Singh clarified that SpiceJet is safe to fly — as are all Indian airlines.

"SpiceJet is an extremely safe airline", Singh confirmed. "In fact, all airlines in the country are extremely safe. I think in the last 15 or 20 days you have probably heard of far fewer snags. Minor snags are part and parcel of this industry — not just in India, but all over the world.

My message to passengers is that Indian airlines, and the Indian aviation ecosystem as a whole, are extremely safe," he said.

In April this year, India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) barred almost 90 SpiceJet pilots from operating Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts, reasoning that they were not properly trained to do so.

As per a DGCA official, the pilots were trained on "a faulty simulator, and the aviation regulator asked the airline to retrain the pilots — in addition to a fine of Rs1 million."

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