SpiceJet to raise fares, break even by end of fiscal

New Delhi: Budget carrier SpiceJet has said it will increase fares by five to seven per cent over the next six months in order to meet rising fuel costs. The hike is also intended to ensure that the airline breaks even by the end of this fiscal.

"The fuel prices are at an all time high and airlines cannot continue running on losses. The increase in prices would be across board," Siddhanta Sharma, executive chairman of SpiceJet, told reporters.

"We are on track to break even but rising fuel prices continue to worry," Sharma said. Sharma added that peak season demand should see average yield per seat going up by Rs200-300 this quarter.

As for future plans, Sharma said that SpiceJet would have 30 aircraft by the end of 2010, up from 18 at present.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet director, Ajay Singh, said that the airline was keenly looking at the Indian sub-continent, the Middle East and Far East destinations as part of its planned overseas foray. 

In this regard he mentioned that the government ought to establish a level playing field for all carriers with regard to foreign operations, by changing existing norms, which stipulate that an Indian carrier must have carried out domestic operations for five years before commencing operations overseas. He pointed out that airlines from Dubai and Sharjah were going international within one-and-a-half of years of formation.

"There is not much logic in denying some of the airlines like us from going global. We have proven our credibility by flying all this while," Ajay Singh said.