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SpiceJet says looking ahead to normalcy


New Delhi: As SpiceJet today got a new lease of life with co-founder Ajay Singh back in control, the airline said it is looking forward to get back to normalcy and may take some more steps for its revival.

“The ownership change in SpiceJet is a positive development. (We are) looking forward to get back to normalcy,” the airline’s Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor told.

There are expectations that some more changes could take place at the beleaguered airline, which had to cancel many flights in the recent past amid a major financial crunch.

The airline is also expected to renegotiate some of the contracts, including those related to aircraft leases, under the new structure that might take place after transfer of ownership and management to Singh, from the current owners Maran family.

Without specifying the details, Kapoor said “the new promoter will take over the company’s management and some more steps need to be followed”.

There have been concerns about delayed salaries also at SpiceJet, which has nearly 5,000 employees. It has, however, begun paying salaries for the last month, December 2014.

The airline, founded in 2005, has been operating nearly 200 flights a day of late, down from more than 300 a day before the crisis began late last year.

Maran family had been in control since 2010, before which US investor Wilbur Ross, known as a turnaround specialist, had also held a substantial stake for a brief period. The airline was originally launched by Ajay Singh along with London-based Kansagra family of Indian origin.

As per the new deal, approved by SpiceJet board today, Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airways will transfer the ownership, management and control of the company to Ajay Singh.

This is part of a ‘Scheme of Reconstruction and Revival for the takeover of ownership, management and control of SpiceJet Limited’, the company said earlier in a regulatory filing.

In the last quarter ended September 30, 2014, SpiceJet reported Rs 310 crore loss, widening from Rs 124 crore in the previous quarter. The losses were, however, lower in the year-ago quarter ended September 30, 2013 at Rs 560 crore.

For the full last fiscal, the losses were over Rs 1,000 crore, which was its third consecutive year of loss since fiscal 2011-12. Prior to that, it had posted a net profit of Rs 101 crore in 2010-11 and Rs 61 crore in 2009-10.

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