Government extended ‘light hand-holding’ to SpiceJet: Aviation Minister

Thursday, 23 July,New Delhi: The government had extended “light hand-holding” to SpiceJet when it went through turbulent times, according to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

The no-frills carrier, which was on the verge of closure in December last year, has seen a change in ownership with original promoter Ajay Singh back at the helm.

“From experience, you know that Indian skies do become turbulent. Kingfisher crashed and recently we had one airline that was in turbulent weather. It was SpiceJet. Of course, the government gave light hand-holding… like a toddler, grand children in your house,” Raju said on Thursday.

“Most people of my age are very fond of grand children especially when they start walking… then they walk away and grow strong… So we wish that Indian airlines serve the nation and make our skies more vibrant,” he said here.

Amid turbulent times last December, flights of SpiceJet were even grounded for a brief period.

Now, things are improving for the carrier and it recorded the highest load factor — an indicator of its performance — of 93.2% in June.

After seven quarters of losses, SpiceJet posted a net profit of Rs 22.51 crore in the January-March period helped by renegotiated contracts and settlements and provisioning for re-delivery expenses, among others.

The airline had reported a net loss of Rs 321.5 crore in the same period a year ago.