Shares of SpiceJet Ltd fell 19% in intraday trade on Tuesday to hit a fresh 52-week low as the budget airline said four of its grounded aircraft — two Boeing 737s and two Q400s — are expected to be operational by June 15.
The stock opened marginally lower than its previous closing price of ₹28.07 before plummeting to an intraday low of ₹22.65 apiece on the BSE. The company's market cap stood at around ₹1,450.45 crore.
SpiceJet has witnessed a consistent drop in its domestic market share since January. The Gurugram-based airline's market share dropped to 5.8% in April from 6.4% in March, according to data released by aviation regulator DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation). However, rival Go First's insolvency is likely to boost the market share of other budget carriers. The Wadia Group-owned cash-strapped airline's market share stood at 6.4% in April.
The drop in SpiceJet's share price comes on a day when the low-cost carrier completed 18 years of flying and announced multiple flights, including two international flights under the UDAN scheme.
In a stock exchange filing, SpiceJet says it plans to bring 25 of its grounded planes back into service. "The airline is targeting the return of four of its grounded aircraft, two Boeing 737s and two Q400s, by June 15. More planes will be back in operations in the following weeks," the filing says.
Spicejet plans to start a slew of flights including two international UDAN flights on the Agartala-Chattogram-Agartala and Imphal-Mandalay-Imphal sectors by June end. The airline also plans to launch a new UDAN flight on Kolkata-Tezpur-Kolkata sector and restart Kolkata-Gwalior-Kolkata and Jammu-Gwalior-Jammu UDAN flights. In addition, SpiceJet will launch flights on Kolkata-Agartala-Kolkata and Kolkata-ImphalKolkata sectors and restart flights on Kolkata-Chattogram-Kolkata sector.
"Since operating its first commercial flight on May 23, 2005 from Delhi to Ahmedabad, SpiceJet has carried millions of passengers to their destinations. The airline has been part of evacuation and repatriation efforts whenever the need arose. SpiceJet has flown with the highest occupancy or passenger load factor for a record eight successive years. The airline has always believed in leading from the front and is a key supporter of the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN," the no-frills carrier says.
The announcement of new flights comes days after the airline initiated the process of reviving its grounded fleet with the $50 million funds received from the government’s Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) and internal cash accruals.
"We are focussed firmly on reviving our grounded fleet and getting more and more planes back into the air. Work on this front has already begun and the company is using the $50 million ECLGS funds and our own cash," SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh had said.
SpiceJet recently restructured over $100 million outstanding dues to Carlyle Aviation Partner into equity shares and compulsorily convertible debentures (CCDs). Aircraft lessor Carlyle Aviation is the commercial aviation investment and servicing arm of private equity giant Carlyle. Following the transaction, Carlyle Aviation will hold over 7.5% equity stake in the airline.
In April, SpiceJet hived off its cargo and logistics division 'SpiceXpress' into a separate entity, SpiceXpress and Logistics Pvt Ltd, paving the way for SpiceXpress to raise funds independently.
To commemorate its 18th anniversary, SpiceJet has announced a special sale with one-way domestic fares starting at ₹1,818 on select routes such as Bengaluru-Goa and Mumbai-Goa. The sale offer is valid for bookings made between 23rd and 28th May, 2023. The travel period for bookings under the offer is between 1st July and 30th March, 2024.