Welcome aboard SpiceJet!
Last month, India played its first-ever day-night Test match — against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens — with a pink ball. It was the ninth cricket-playing nation to do so. Commenting on the historic match, the newly-elected BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said, “India is the biggest country in terms of cricket and the five-day cricket format needed rejuvenation.” Being an ardent fan of cricket myself, I couldn’t agree more with Dada.
Since I am also an aviation enthusiast, I believe, we need a rejuvenation of brand ‘Aviation India’ to fast emerge as a global aviation power.
We, at SpiceJet, have been working relentlessly to realise that goal year after year. Daring to dream big and leaping forward to make those dreams come true led to an eventful 2019 — a year of unprecedented growth for SpiceJet.
As part of our global expansion, we introduced 22 non-stop flights on international routes to Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Dhaka, Riyadh and Jeddah, among others. We have partnered with Emirates for interline and codeshare agreement and have signed a MoU with Gulf Air. We also signed a distribution agreement with Amadeus.
The pact with Emirates offers wider connectivity to our customers on the latter’s network across the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Our agreement with Gulf Air will create growth opportunities beyond network expansion, such as leveraging each other’s strengths in pilot training, and enhancing cargo and engineering services.
Back home, we relentlessly scaled up domestic connectivity. In the wake of the crisis in the aviation sector, which resulted in a severe capacity crunch across busy airports, SpiceJet made every effort to restore normalcy and minimise passenger inconvenience. We launched close to 164 flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi, besides multiple other domestic and international destinations.
The year also witnessed an important milestone in SpiceJet’s history — the induction of our 100th aircraft, a Boeing 737 — into the fleet. In November 2019, our fleet size stood at 118, operating 630 average daily flights to 64 destinations — 54 domestic and 10 international.
We launched 24 new flights under UDAN or the regional connectivity scheme, connecting smaller towns and cities with the rest of the country. We also consolidated our operations by switching from T1 to T2 at Mumbai Airport and from T2 to T3 at Delhi Airport, thus offering a smooth and hassle-free travel experience for our passengers.
The year was also eventful for SpiceJet in other ways
I had the opportunity to draw global attention to Indian aviation at the World Economic Forum at Davos and the UN’s Climate Action Summit in New York. I also had the privilege of chairing WEF’s Aviation, Travel and Tourism Governor’s Meeting and was appointed to the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association. This was an honour for SpiceJet and Indian aviation, as it came less than three months after we joined the global group. I was also honoured to receive, on behalf of SpiceJet, the ‘Airline Executive of the Year’ at CAPA’s 16th annual ‘Asia Pacific Aviation Awards for Excellence’.
I take this opportunity to reiterate that all these accolades and recognitions belong to every SpiceJetter, who has been working tirelessly to rebuild an airline that is admired across the world.
Year 2019 has been truly special and 2020 will be no less. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your unflinching support on our exciting journey.
On behalf of the entire SpiceJet family, I wish you happy holidays and a joyous Christmas and New Year!
Tailwinds and Happy Landings! Jai Hind!