CHENNAI: A much-needed lifeline was thrown to low cost carrier SpiceJet, as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved their request to open bookings through to March 26, next year. The statutory body had clamped down on the airline’s booking privileges last December when serious financial worries threatened to ground them permanently. With the permission to operate their flights through for another financial year at the very least, the carrier is slowly regaining its composure -offering sales, paying back refunds on tickets cancelled during their near-meltdown and hiring back a smidgeon of their essential staff.
Reacting to the development, SpiceJet’s Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said, “We are pleased to introduce our winter schedule and open bookings beyond October 24 2015. Our customers can now plan their travel up to March 2 next year, and as always, those who plan and book early get the best fares. With this schedule we will also increase our daily flights, through which we will provide more same-day return options and better connections for travellers”.
With an increased cash influx from original promoter Ajay Singh and other private investors, the airline has recovered enough composure to increase their daily services from 238 to 251 in the winter schedule. “Some of the cities that we dropped from our network due to operational difficulties are still off the map, but next quarter we’re looking to linking those destinations on connecting flights at the very least,” said a source in the now-Gurgaon based airline.
Despite constant legal worries with lessors who have given them their planes and have massive backlogs of dues, the airline appears to be regaining a semblance of normalcy - at least 75 per cent of the customers have thanked the airline and confirmed publicly that their fares from cancelled flights had been refunded, “90 per cent of the fares have been refunded, the remaining done through agencies will take a little more time to process,” tweeted Kapoor.