SpiceJet takes off despite rough weather

SpiceJet takes off despite rough weather

Beleaguered SpiceJet resumed operations on Thursday even as a section of fliers continued to fear a repeat of Wednesday’s massive disruptions with a number of them cancelling their bookings.

Travel portals said a large number of travellers cancelled SpiceJet tickets and many of them shifted to other airlines by booking tickets at spot price, which has seen a rise following the disruptions. Though they could not provide details immediately whether some fliers had cancelled Thursday’s ticket and opted for other airlines, portal officials said there were a large number of cancellations for the coming days.

A quick analysis showed that many of those who have cancelled SpiceJet tickets have booked for the same day in rival airlines, a portal official said.

In the morning itself, SpiceJet announced the “resumption of normal operations as of today (Thursday), with all 230 flights scheduled to operate for the day”. Airport sources said SpiceJet services were more or less on schedule but the airline did not provide any figures.

Around 150 services of SpiceJet were cancelled on Wednesday after oil companies refused to supply fuel on credit following concern over non-payment of dues. on Wednesday evening, the airline paid around Rs 3 crore to oil companies.

Though the airline resumed operations, it did not have much effect on spot fares, which had risen following the crisis on Wednesday. The price for the lone seat available on the Delhi-Mumbai route for Air India’s early morning flight on Friday was pegged at Rs 59,749 while for two available seats on a Delhi-Kolkata flight, it was Rs 70,496.

An analysis by travel portal “MakeMyTrip” showed that the spot fares for three top routes — Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bangalore and Mumbai-Bangalore — have gone up significantly this December compared to the same month last year.  Spot fares between Delhi and Bangalore rose 57 per cent to more than Rs 17,570 on an average while those between Delhi and Mumbai rose 45 per cent to almost Rs 14,484, it said.

Industry experts believe that the airline will get some help from the government, if not a bailout, as it does not want the airline to go down the drain.

“With 16-19 per cent market share, SpiceJet is a prominent player and if it exits the sector, it may lead to the monopoly of major players,” a top official of an airline told Deccan Herald.

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