New Delhi: Suffering a total liability of about Rs. 2,000 crore, beleaguered no-frill carrier SpiceJet on Monday approached the government and sought urgent financial help to run its daily operations.
Top officials of the airline met Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma and made the plea for “urgent relief”.
The Minister said any such decision could be taken by the “highest level” in the government and said the request of SpiceJet would be put up before the Prime Minister’s Office and the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum.
“No assurance has been given to them,” Mr. Sharma told reporters after the meeting.
The meeting came hours after the airline officials met DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar and shared an operational plan, but sources in the aviation regulator said there was “nothing new” in it.
DGCA had given the airline time till today to release pending salaries of employees and submit a schedule on how it plans to pay vendor dues of about Rs. 1,600 crore.
Till date, SpiceJet has gradually reduced flights across its network from 332 daily to 239 from September 1 till date, according to latest official figures. It has cancelled over 1,800 flights a month.
The airline, which had 48 aircraft — 33 Boeing 737s and 15 Q-400 regional jets, was operating only 35 of them — 22 B -737s and 13 Q-400s, considerably shrinking its fleet as it lost considerable amounts on a regular basis. It has a 17 per cent domestic market share.
The airline has been losing money and has cancelled over 1,800 flights in a month. It has shrunk its fleet from 58 aircraft to nearly 37.