Procedural issues delay Spicejet's ATF import plan
Mumbai: The low-cost carrier Spicejet, which was the first to get permission to directly import aviation fuel and planned to start doing so by last month, Friday said its plans are stuck due to "procedural delays" and it hopes to start imports by the end this quarter.
"We are done with our part. But some procedural delays are holding us back from going ahead and start importing aviation turbine fuel (ATF)," Spicejet Chief Executive Niel Mills said.
The Chennai-based carrier, promoted by media baron Kalanithi Maran, was the first airline to apply for a direct import licence from the government after it was allowed in February.
The second largest budget carrier with 18.6 percent market share, which had reported a surprise profit of Rs 64 crore in the June quarter, got the DGFT nod to directly buy ATF in May and the airline had told PTI that it would begin shipping in fuel by mid-July.
When asked as to when he hopes to start imports, Mills said, "Hopefully, towards the end of this quarter. It is a complicated issue but not insurmountable. I have done it in the past elsewhere and I will do it here too but it is taking some time, a bit more than I figured out."
After being in the red for five consecutive quarters, Spicejet had flown back into profitability with a net income of Rs 56 crore in the June quarter against a loss of Rs 71.96 crore a year ago on the back of significant growth in sales and better yields.
The Chennai-based carrier also posted 51 percent growth in sales at Rs 1,406.74 crore in the April-June quarter compared to Rs 930.75 crore y-o-y driven by better seat factor that rose to 80.3 percent from 78.9 percent.