Budget airlines shakeup is a perception, says SpiceJet CEO

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on March 12, 2018

A Spicejet Boeing 737 takes off from IGI airport (file photo)   -  Business Line

Mr Neil Mills, CEO, SpiceJet

A shakeup in the budget airline model may be a possibility that the industry may be living with but how real it could turn out to be, or when, is one of perception, says Mr Neil Mills, Chief Executive Officer, SpiceJet.

He said this while speaking to newspersons here on the occasion of the launch of direct flights from here to Hyderabad and Chennai.


The first Hyderabad-Thiruvananthapuram flight landed at the international airport here at 08.55 hours on Thursday. This marks the commencement of the first direct flight on this route by any airline.

SpiceJet also commenced the Kochi-Chennai service and announced a second flight in this route from November 11.

While agreeing that the aircraft order position might indicate building overcapacity, Mr Mills found no scope yet for wholesale consolidation in the industry leading to mergers and acquisitions.

No one player is big enough to force an M&A, he said, while adding that SpiceJet could claim for itself a sound financial position.


He described the daily services to Chennai and Hyderabad as a ‘big move' in the ‘right direction' because of the traffic volumes involved in the hitherto poorly connected corridors.

SpiceJet claims to be the only airliner to operate the Bombardier Q-400 NextGen turboprop aircraft in the tier II and III sectors in the country.

The aircraft offers a ‘whole new experience' to travellers with a quieter cabin that uses the noise suppression technology.

The fleet expansion plan, with the addition of the Q-400 aircraft, aims to enhance connectivity to tier II and III cities and towns.


In the first phase of the Q-400 operations, the airline is connecting Hyderabad to 12 popular tier-II and tier-III destinations such as Aurangabad, Bhopal, Goa, Indore, Madurai, Mangalore, Nagpur, Pune, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Thiruvananthpauram and Vijayawada.

The Q-400 aircraft can accommodate 78 passengers and is widely accepted as the best short-haul plane globally, Mr Mills said.

SpiceJet has placed an order for 30 such aircraft (15 firm and 15 options) and have already taken delivery of the first five during early September. Delivery of the next two is expected later this month.

Published on October 07, 2011

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