This financial year, SpiceJet plans to add seven Boeing aircraft to its fleet to strengthen international operations. The company, which caters to nine international destinations, is also eyeing the markets of Thailand, China and Iraq.
The airline has said it isn’t worried about competition in the domestic market, thanks to its spread across three passenger segments---tier II &II, regional and international markets. AirAsia, the latest entrant in the Indian market, is expected to commence full-fledged operations in India by the end of this year.
Last year, the Kalanithi Maran-owned budget carrier had added four Boeing aircraft and eight Bombardier Q400s, taking the total fleet size to 54. Of these, 15 are Bombardiers and rest Boeing.
In the last eight years, the airline has maintained efficiency in asset utilisation and this has made it one of the lowest seat cost providers in Indian aviation. The induction of new aircraft in 2012-13 helped it increase its footprint to 14 domestic and six international airports, the airline said in its 2012-13 annual report.
Spicejet said between 2011-12 and 2012-13, the average number of aircraft in operation rose from 32.5 to 45.9; the number of flights operated rose from 81,139 to 1,09,267 during the same period. Capacity deployed in available seat km rose from 13,717 million to 16,338 million.
While the industry outlook for this financial year is challenging, SpiceJet says new aircraft and destinations would result in additional aircraft utilisation and help secure better yields. It would also offset the risk of infusion of additional capacities into domestic sectors, the annual report said.
SpiceJet has said fuel prices and the high exchange rate levels remained a concern.