SpiceJet is too small an airline and Air India is too large an asset: Singh

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 20, 2019

Ajay Singh, Chairman & MD, Spice Jet exchanging Aircraft model after signing an agreement with Kresimir Kucko, CEO, Gulf Air in New Delhi   -  Kamal Nain Narang

Airline signs an MoU with Gulf Air for enhanced co-operation

SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director, Ajay Singh, said that  SpiceJet is too small an airline and Air India is too large an asset for it.

“While we keep looking at what the government has to say, it is still a very tough call for us as far as Air India is concerned,” Ajay Singh said at a press conference on Wednesday after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Gulf Air.

Singh added that SpiceJet will start an airline in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK). “We will first start flights to RAK which should happen early next year,” he added. The new airline will be set up with a local partner and the  name of the new airline is yet to be finalised.

Promoting tourism

SpiceJet entered into an MoU with Ras Al Khaimah International Airport on October 23 this year to co-operate, develop and promote tourism in Ras Al Khaimah and also work towards creating an aviation hub at the Ras Al Khaimah International Airport.

Singh added that the arrangement with Emirates will go live from midnight tonight. “The technology integration took longer than we had anticipated. Systems on both sides were different,” he said.

In April this year, SpiceJet had signed an initial pact for code share with the Dubai-based Emirates airlines.

Singh said that tying up with so many international airlines does not mean that SpiceJet will not fly directly to both Europe and US. “We need to give our passengers a choice. They should be able to fly directly using SpiceJet or our partner airlines to different parts of Europe and Africa and even the US,” he said.

In response to a question on the financial health of the domestic airline industry, Singh said that  one needs to stop looking at the financial health of domestic aviation from one quarter to the next, but take a long-term view of the industry.

Both IndiGo and SpiceJet, the two listed airline companies in India, reported losses in the second quarter this year.

Commenting on the tie-up with Gulf Air, Singh said that it will allow SpiceJet passengers to fly to many more global destinations. “Similarly, when Gulf Air passengers come to India they want to go to different parts of the country which they can do using the SpiceJet network.”

Published on November 20, 2019

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