(Bloomberg) -- SpiceJet Ltd. is planning to slash jobs among other measures as the unprofitable no-frills carrier seeks to bolster its distressed balance sheet by saving as much as 1 billion rupees ($12 million) annually.
A “manpower rationalization” initiative is underway after the recent fund infusion, Spicejet said in a statement Monday, without specifying how many employees would be affected. The move is part of its “turnaround and cost-cutting strategy” to achieve “profitable growth,” according to the statement.
The airline plans to cut at least 1,000 jobs or about 10% of its workforce, the Press Trust of India reported earlier in the day.
SpiceJet, which has reported losses of almost 55 billion rupees in the past five years, has been struggling to protect its position against bigger rivals — IndiGo and Air India Ltd. — as well as upstarts such as Akasa Air that have been steadily eking out market share in India’s crowded skies. Budget carrier Go Airlines India Ltd. filed for insolvency last year, succumbing to India’s cutthroat aviation market.
SpiceJet’s market share in India slipped to 5.6% in December from about 7% at the start of 2023, according to data from the country’s aviation regulator. It raised 7.4 billion rupees last month, the first tranche of a planned 22.5 billion rupees capital infusion using preferential shares and warrants.
SpiceJet operates a fleet of mostly Boeing Co.’s 737 jets, 25 of which are grounded as the airline struggled to pay lessors while the other 40 are operational. It had a fleet of 110 before the pandemic, according to its annual report.
It’s also entangled in a legal dispute with Credit Suisse Group AG over outstanding payments and was given another six months in September to clear its arrears of $3 million.
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