NEW DELHI (TIP): In a timely move to save SpiceJet, the aviation ministry has given initial approval to the airline’s revival plan submitted by its co-founder Ajay Singh, who is now back at the helm. The ministry has referred Singh’s plan to infuse Rs 1,500 crore by March-end along with a unit of US-based JPMorgan Chase, to stock market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India ( Sebi) to examine if this funding will trigger open offer. The new owners, who are taking over from Kalanithi Maran, will hold about 59% stake in the company. The LCC’s currently fleet of 19 Boeing 737s is expected to rise to 26 by April along with 15 Bombardier Q400s.
The ministry’s move comes at a time when some leasors of SpiceJet’s Boeing 737s were trying to repossess many of the aircraft. Last week, BOC Aviation which has leased three B-737s to SpiceJet, met director general of civil aviation M Sathiyavathy to get the planes deregistered from the LCC’s name. Non-payment of rentals has seen 20 Boeings being repossessed from SpiceJet so far. Sources say a sword of repossession was hanging on about 15 of the 19 B-737s.