Co-founder Ajay Singh heads SpiceJet rescue ops

Said to be talking to overseas investors, banks refuse loans

Co-founder Ajay Singh heads SpiceJet rescue ops

In its fight for survival, SpiceJet may find a saviour in one of its original promoters Ajay Singh, who may end up buying stakes of the cash-strapped airine to help it come out of the deep crisis it is entrenched in.

Singh, who was a key strategist in the Narendra Modi campaign, had a series of meetings with the top echleons of the Civil Ministry, including Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and Secretary V Somasundaram, triggering speculation that he along with some overseas investors may pump in money into the ailing company.

Sources said Singh, who has at present four per cent stake in the airline, might come up with a plan before the Ministry on Monday on his investment. Singh along with Bhupendra Kansagra had started SpiceJet in 2005 as a low cost airline and he divested his stakes to Kalanidhi Maran-owned Sun Group in 2010.

Singh has said that it is a good time to invest in aviation sector while Raju noted that the present management has told the Ministry that they are likely to get an investor soon.
It is not clear as of now how much money Singh would put in SpiceJet.

The expectations of SpiceJet getting investment was reflected in the Sensex with the shares of the airline soared by almost 20 per cent. The share price settled at Rs 15.80. On volume front, PTI reported that 296.87 lakh shares of the company changed hands at the BSE during the day.
SpiceJet plunged into further crisis on Wednesday after it was forced to suspend flights during the day after oil companies refused to supply fuel on credit. It could resume flights in the evening after it paid around Rs 3 crore. The airline also paid around Rs 13 crore on Thursday in effort to clear dues running into Rs 14 crore.

The airline claimed on Friday that it is continuing to operate its full schedule of flights. “SpiceJet has also operated extra flights since Wednesday evening to accommodate backlogged passengers in locations such as Port Blair and Goa,” the airline said.

“Near flawless day of operations on Thursday with (around) 230 flights.  We are back on our feet.  Apologies for earlier pain and thank you for your support,” Sanjiv Kapor, Chief Operating Officer of SpiceJet, tweeted.

Market share
The crisis engulfing SpiceJet took a toll on its market share in November as it tumbled below 15 per cent for the first time this year while its main rival IndiGo improved its numbers to set a record.

Fresh figures released by DGCA showed that SpiceJet’s market share slipped to 14.9 per cent, as against 17.3 per cent in October, as it cancelled about 100 daily services.


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