In what could boost SpiceJet's position in domestic aviation, the airline has said it is looking to expand its fleet by more than 150 planes. The budget carrier is in talks with aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus, its chairman said on Sunday.
India's second-biggest budget airline by market share will finalise the manufacturer from whom it will purchase the planes by the end of March 2016, said Ajay Singh, co-founder and chairman of the airline.
However, Singh did not disclose the value of the deal as Spicejet is still in talks with aircraft makers. Currently, the carrier has a fleet of 41 planes and Singh plans to "more than quadruple" it.
"We are in the process of placing a large aircraft order; the airline will order in excess of 150 planes - we hope to do that in this financial year," Reuters quoted Singh as saying.
Besides, the airline is in talks with a few other aircraft manufacturers including Bombardier to purchase around 50 regional jets. SpiceJet will use these jets to expand its operations to smaller cities in the country.
"SpiceJet is generating enough cash internally to sustain those orders," said Singh. "If we need to raise any money to fund those orders, which looks unlikely at this time, there are enough unutilised credit lines available to us."
The struggling carrier was on the verge of collapse late last year before an ownership change in January this year that saw Singh acquiring 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.
"If oil prices remain moderate, (there is) no reason why this profitability shouldn't continue," Business Standard quoted Singh as saying.
Following a turnaround, SpiceJet saw more than 300% increase in share prices on the stock exchanges.