Apprehending an uncertain future for the company, some 40-odd SpiceJet pilots including commanders have quit the airline during the past six months, say sources. The airline auditors in their recent report have cast doubts over the ability of media baron Kalanithi Maran's budget carrier to run it as a "going concern".
The airline has reported 5th straight quarter of net losses for the July-September period, at Rs 310 crore (Rs 3.1 billion), although it is down from the year-ago period when it had a net loss of Rs 559 crore (Rs 5.59 billion). The losses came down as the airline witnessed a 15 per cent growth in total revenue. For the past fiscal, the airline had reported a record loss of a little over Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion). "The airline is losing its flight crew at a regular interval. In the last six months alone as many as 40 pilots have quit the airline, citing uncertain future," an industry source told PTI. The pilots who have parted ways with SpiceJet include the commanders, he said adding that those who resigned did not want to take a chance, particularly after the grounding of the Kingfisher Airlines.
According to the source, the quitting of these pilots have also impacted the airline's operations significantly with its flights either delayed or at times having repeated cancellations. The airline had last week said its had reduced its fleet by 10 planes from 48 to 38 over the past few months. Repeated phone calls and a text message sent to SpiceJet spokesperson remained unanswered.