New Delhi\London: Global consultancy Frost & Sullivan have bestowed the "2008 Emerging Company of the Year Award for Indian Commercial Aviation" on low cost carrier SpiceJet. It said though the carrier had commenced operations only in 2005 it had built a reputation for low fares with high customer value offering.
It pointed out that the LCC had achieved a revenue growth of 121 per cent in 2007 and captured a sizeable market share of 10.5 per cent in 2008.
The consultancy said the annual award was presented to a company that had emerged as a significant player within the industry by exhibiting outstanding management, superior market growth, exceptional customer service and the ability to combine technology and successful strategic initiatives.
Commenting on the award, Bhulo Kansagra, director, SpiceJet said, "We are delighted to receive the "2008 Indian Commercial Aviation Emerging Company of the Year" Award. It is reflective of the consumer's faith in our services, network and our people. It is a recognition for the 2000 employees who have worked together to be efficient, cost conscious and focused on being on the top. We are proud of our achievement and we are sure that this is a beginning of a significant journey ahead."
Currently, SpiceJet operates around 100 flights daily, covering 17 destinations a marked scale-up from 2006, when it flew to 14 destinations with 83 flights operating daily. The fleet size had reached 18 by the end of 2007 and a further order for 13 Boeing aircraft is scheduled for delivery in the period 2008 - 2011.
The number of passengers who flew with SpiceJet in 2006 was 2.21 million, rising to 3.7 million in 2007.
SpiceJet has a unique marketing strategy that focuses on word-of-mouth marketing, supported by print and Internet media initiatives. To build further on its branding value, SpiceJet has introduced on-board merchandise sales such as goggles, airplane models, perfumes, caps and watches. Sales of branded merchandise will also be available through the company's website.
Innovative pricing has also been central to the company's success. SpiceJet started off its services with a revolutionary pricing of Rs99 for the first 99 days. This was followed by air tickets priced at Rs500 and Rs999 -- a pricing strategy that continues. As a result, the airline's prices compete with first-class Indian railway fares.
The consultancy said SpiceJet's focus on technology innovation ranges from the choice of the aircraft to the winglet design. ''Boeing 737-800 and 737-900 are the preferred aircraft models for reasons of operational efficiency and fuel economy, with the latter introduced last year to carry more loads in busy, slot-constrained airports, such as Mumbai, to better utilise existing slots," it said.
SpiceJet has also focused on the curved winglet design which reduces noise and improves fuel economy by 2-3 per cent. The company has also expanded inner aircraft room by reducing unnecessary storage areas and allotting them to passenger seats.
"A disciplined crew, well-trained ground personnel and courteous check-in staff make SpiceJet the preferred low-cost airline," states Frost & Sulivan. "While there is stiff competition in the low-cost carrier market in India, the competitive edge for SpiceJet lies in the quality of service offered during the flight. This has resulted in 42% repeat flyers, 45% of business travel and over 90% of passengers recommending the airline through word of mouth."
To select the award recipient, the consultancy interviewed market participants, customers, and suppliers, along with extensive secondary and technology research.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development.
SpiceJet is among the Top Ten Best Budget Airlines in Asia as recognized by Smart Travel Asia magazine (Sept 2008) Hong Kong. It has also been voted the Best Low Cost Airline by a reader's survey conducted nationally by India's leading travel magazine Outlook Traveler (Feb 2008).
It has also been India recognized as Best Low Cost Airline by TAFI (Travel Agents Federation of India)-Abacus in Sept 2007.
SpiceJet operates 98 flights daily to 17 cities in the country and at 82%, has an on-time performance that is amongst the best in India. It also has a Technical Dispatch Reliability of 99.6% making it an airline with least cancellations.
SpiceJet's new generation fleet of 15 Boeing 737-800 / 737-900ER aircraft are backed by cutting edge technology and infrastructure to ensure the highest standards in safety and operating efficiency.
Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents.