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Spicejet Chairman Ajay Singh weighs in on the Jet crisis. What does he have to say?

PW Bureau

Ajay Singh said that a total revival of an airline as huge as Jet Airways is an uphill task and a much slimmer version of the airline make take to the skies

New Delhi: SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said that the airline has absorbed as many as 1,000 employees from financially battered Jet Airways and is working towards reducing the inconvenience faced by passengers and Jet employees as the aviation sector goes through a tough period. Singh said that the airline has added 5 aircraft recently and plans to add 40 more to the fleet in the coming weeks.

‘Time to assess why Jet went down’

Deliberating on the problems being faced by the Indian aviation sector, the SpiceJet Chairman said it was time for all stakeholders to pause and reflect why this was happening repeatedly. While noting that Jet’s ‘temporary’ closure of operations was extremely sad, Singh said that the industry must come up with long-term solutions that impact the sector.

On Jet’s revival

Singh said that a total revival of an airline as huge as Jet Airways is an uphill task and a much slimmer version of the airline make take to the skies. He said that among the many challenges that the civil aviation sector faces, the issue of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) being taxed as high as 40 percent, the highest in the world, is the most serious and makes matters complex.

The SpiceJet chief whip also lauded national carrier Air India for absorbing some of the wide bodied planes of Jet Airways.

When asked about any plans to submit an expression of interest (EoI) for Jet Airways, Singh said it would be tough for a small airline like SpiceJet to run a behemoth like Jet Airways as they estimated a need of Rs 11,000 crore to remain viable.

On Boeing 737 taking to the skies again

Singh also touched upon the issue of Boeing 737 Max 8 planes taking to the sky again and said that it could be possible from July. He said that Boeing has found a solution and fixed the problem with the 737 aircraft. The aircraft was grounded by countries across the world after a plane of the same make crashed immediately after taking off in Ethiopia. The incident was preceded by another crash in Indonesia when the plane went down 13 minutes after takeoff.