Tuesday, January 08, 2019

SpiceJet suspends flights on Chennai-Hubli route due to lack of commercial viability

The fierce competition among domestic carriers may have started to take a toll on the government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS) with SpiceJet suspending operations on one of its southern routes owing to lack of commercial viability. A senior government official told FE that SpiceJet has stopped daily operations between Chennai and Hubli which started from May 2018.

According to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) data, SpiceJet operated a 78-seater aircraft on the route, recording an average 65% passenger load factor (PLF) till November 11, 2018.
“The reason (for closure of route) was that it was not commercially viable to ply on that route,” the official said. The closure came a few months after market leader IndiGo launched services with a larger aircraft. IndiGo has been flying an Airbus A320 since July, having a capacity of 180 seats. It flew with just 27% occupancy on its flights till mid-November. The current spot fares on the route are hovering around Rs 2,700 which are below the prescribed UDAN fare.
A SpiceJet spokesperson said the decision has been taken as per the UDAN conditions “SpiceJet has taken all decisions vis-à-vis UDAN flights as per the rules laid down by the ministry of civil aviation. At every stage the government has been kept informed about these decisions,” the spokesperson said.
08/01/19 Arun Nayal/Financial Express