Spicejet's loss is Vistara's gain: Sanjiv Kapoor moves
Spicejet's Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor is joining Vistara, Tata group-Singapore Airlines joint venture as its Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer. He will be joining the new airline in February 2016. Known for bringing in the idea of flash air ticket sales in the private market, Mr. Kapoor is quitting SpiceJet a year before the end of his term.
SpiceJet began as ModiLuft in 1993, which ceased to exist by 1996. In 2004, the carrier raised funds and started its operations again as SpiceJet, flying on the 'low-cost model'. In 2010, Kalanidhi Maran - the Indian media baron acquired 37.7% stake in Spicejet. It became India's fourth-largest airline by the volume of passengers "carried with a market share of 12.3%".
The reason behind SpiceJet's decline were many, but the most significant was the high airport cost and the steep rise in fuel prices. Moreover, SpiceJet's frequent discount sales though increased its market share to begin with, later led to the decline in revenue. Money laundering cases against the Maran brothers kept the global investors at bay. Poor management also hampered the airline's reputation.
The administration shake in the financially unstable SpiceJet carrier took a new turn with four senior executives were asked to resign. Those resigning include senior vice president network planning- Anurag Jain, Sandeep Verma- Head of in-flight services, General Manager HR- Anshu Tiwari and Chief Security Officer-IP Singh. The company said that new talent would be taking their place but no new appointments were announced.
Perceiving an unpredictable prospect for the airline, almost 40-odd SpiceJet pilots including captains departed from the airline within the last six months. The airline published its fifth continuous quarter of net decline for the July-September 2014 period, pegged at Rs.310 crore. However, the loss had come down from the previous year when it had recorded a net decline of Rs.559 crore.
SpiceJet's leased planes were taken back by the leasers, depleting it to a diminutive fleet from 239 to 332 because of which regular flights were being delayed. The airline owes capital to "airports, employees and even statutory dues", much like Mallya's company. Oil firms have started playing tough with SpiceJet in giving jet fuel since the dues haven't been cleared.
The Centre gave a last opportunity to cash-deprived SpiceJet to exist, demanding the low cost carrier to appropriate funds within 10 days, most likely from promoter Kalanithi Maran, the Sun Group chief or face closure. SpiceJet reported to the minister of state Mahesh Sharma that its pressing cash requirement was "Rs.1,400 crore and the overall requirement (including long term) Rs.2,000 crore."
12 of the 40 pilots who had put in their resignations, withdrew their requests after the airline started the timely clearing of the dues.