SpiceJet Airlines
Representational ImageReuters

Budget airline SpiceJet has seen its share prices surge by a whopping 320% so far this year, as the carrier makes a turnaround from a near-collapse after its ownership changed hands in January 2015.

SpiceJet shares rose over 5% to hit Rs 72.50 per share on Tuesday, a level not seen in more than four years.

In contrast, shares of Jet Airways, India's second-largest airline by the number of passengers carried, have gained 24% so far this year. Stock prices of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, the owner of Indigo, have risen 38.6% after listing on the bourses this month.

"We came out of a situation when the company was actually shut down in the middle of last December," Mint quoted Spicejet chairman Ajay Singh as saying.

"We've looked at some of the cost elements, tried to bring the cost down. We've tried to instil confidence in consumers who'd been badly impacted by cancellations last year," he said.

The struggling carrier was on the verge of collapse before an ownership change in January this year. The company's board had decided to transfer control from the Marans to founder-promoter Ajay Singh, after which Singh acquired the entire 58.4% stake held by the Marans.

Following the infusion of funds by Singh to restructure the loss-making airline, Spicejet returned to profit in the January-March quarter this year, earning Rs 22.5 crore. The airline also posted profits in the following two quarters, supported by a fall in fuel prices and increased passenger traffic on its flights.

While the ongoing rally in aviation stocks is being led by improved outlook for the sector, Singh said SpiceJet is undervalued, considering the current market conditions.

He said SpiceJet's market capitalisation of about Rs 4,100 crore is "too low" compared to that of Indigo, India's biggest airline.

"The gap which exists between SpiceJet and IndiGo will not sustain to this extent for a significant period of time," he said. "The valuation of the company is out of sync with the market situation and reality. It's undervalued."

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