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SpiceJet logo.svg
Founded 1993 (as ModiLuft)
Commenced operations 5 May 1993; 21 years ago (1993-05-05)
Secondary hubs
Focus cities
Frequent-flyer program SpiceJet MAX[2]
Fleet size 53 (+57 orders)
Destinations 49[3]
Company slogan Whatever We Do, We Do It With All Our Heart
Parent company Sun Group
Headquarters Gurgaon, India[4]
Revenue Increase US$ 964.13 million (2013)
Employees 5,252 (2013)
Website spiceJet.com

SpiceJet is an Indian low-cost airline owned by the Sun Group of India. It is the country's second largest airline by domestic passenger share.[5] The airline operates more than 340 daily flights to 49 destinations, including 41 Indian and 8 international cities[3] using a fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft and Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 aircraft.

The airline began services in May 2005[6] and has its registered office in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, and a corporate office in Gurgaon, Haryana.[7]


1993–1996: ModiLuft era[edit]

Main article: ModiLuft
A Boeing 737-200 in a livery similar to that of Lufthansa.

The origins of SpiceJet track back to February 1993 when ModiLuft, one of India's first post-deregulation airlines that was launched by the Indian industrialist S K Modi, in technical partnership with the German flag carrier Lufthansa. The airline project was started in February 1993 by S. K. Modi, Ashutosh Dayal Sharma and Kanwar K. S. Jamwal and on 5 May 1993 took the first flight from New Delhi to Mumbai. The airline actually started operations within three months of its conception – a record of kinds in itself. It maintained very high standards in flight safety, ground maintenance, and on-time performance, owing to a strong support from Lufthansa AG. Modiluft was perhaps the only Airline to achieve an average aircraft utilisation of a minimum 12 hours per day in Indian Skies.

ModiLuft was the only airline in India to fly a three class configuration compared to others airlines, It had a First, Business and an Economy Class and an incident free track record of flying. It used Boeing 737-200 aircraft leased from Lufthansa. ModiLuft did not last very long specially because the business parity of the German and Indian partners was not the same and problems arose. Then the co-operation was broken off and ModiLuft acquired Boeing 737-400 aircraft to replace the 737-200s from Air UK, but the future of ModiLuft was already sealed and the airline ceased operations in 1996. However, the air-operating certificate (AOC) of ModiLuft did not lapse and the airline due to lack of funds changed hands and renamed Royal Airways.

In 2004, management of the airline was taken over by Ajay Singh, who renamed the company, raised funds and restarted operations. Thus, SpiceJet was born following the low-cost model.[8] SpiceJet leased 3 Boeing 737-800 Next Generation jet aircraft. SpiceJet chose to buy in modern Boeing NGs.[9] On 7 March 2005, the Airports Authority of India approved three overnight parking slots (for aircraft) to SpiceJet, with two in Delhi and one in Mumbai. They announced that flights will commence in May after the first of the 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft arrive in April.[10]

2005–2012: Inception and expansion[edit]

A SpiceJet Boeing 737-900ER taking off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad

SpiceJet opened bookings on 18 May 2005 and results followed immediately as over 37,000 were booked out in just one day, setting a new record in the Asian continent. Red Hot Special Fares were introduced ranging from INR99 (US$1.60) to INR799 (US$13).[11] The first flight was flagged off by the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri. Praful Patel. The first Boeing 737-800 aircraft left Delhi for Mumbai via Ahmedabad on 24 May 2005.[12] It was very successful and by 2008, it was India's second-largest low-cost airline in terms of market share. In late 2007 media billionaire Keyur Patel of Fuse Group was approached by the company for investment in SpiceJet of US $ 20M. On 15 July 2008 billionaire Wilbur Ross suggested he would invest INR3.45 billion (US$56 million) in the airline. SpiceJet accepted an offer in principle from a US-based private equity firm that would make these funds available. Indian media baron Kalanidhi Maran acquired 37.7% in the business in June 2010.[13][14] In early 2012, SpiceJet suffered from a loss of over INR390 million (US$6.3 million) as fuel prices were reported to have jumped up by as high as 90%. The money that SpiceJet spent on fuel has exceeded well over 50% spiraling the airline into losses.[15] As of 2011 Spicejet owed the state Rs. 366 million for availing airport facilities[16]

On 9 January 2012, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, reported that several airlines in India, including SpiceJet, have not maintained crucial data for the flight operations quality assurance or the FOQA.[17] The Bombay stock exchange later announced that ever since June 2011, Spicejet had been suffering losses in millions of rupees. BSE reported that SpiceJet suffered a loss of INR719.64 million (US$12 million) in March–June, INR2400.67 million (US$39 million) in June–September and INR392.60 million (US$6.4 million) in September–December. The airline's quarterly income also went down in June–September 2011, but somehow the airline managed to pull its income up to INR11758.34 million (US$190 million) by December to recoup cumulative losses.[18] Despite the losses, Kalanithi Maran doubled his stake in Spicejet to 16% by investing INR1 billion (US$16 million) in the airline. Maran believed that SpiceJet was going through financial distress because of the steadily rising costs of Jet fuel. The airline's market share at the time was a little over 16% making it the fourth largest airline in India. Neil Mills said that the airline was making preparations so as to directly import jet fuel reducing operational costs.[19] The year end turned out well enough for SpiceJet as the airline returned to making profits.[20]

2013 and beyond[edit]

Contrary to reports that SpiceJet will be selling a stake to Tigerair, SpiceJet launched its first interline pact with Tigerair on 16 December 2013. The first phase allows SpiceJet to sell SpiceJet to Tigerair flights in one booking reservation while the second phase allows Tigerair to sell Tigerair to SpiceJet flights in one booking reservation. All SpiceJet flights to Singapore will be via Hyderabad.

On October 31, 2013, SpiceJet ushered in a new era with the appointment of Sanjiv Kapoor as the COO. The other major changes in top management included roping in Kaneswaran Avili as the new CCO and R. Neelakantan as the CFO.

In July 2014, SpiceJet announced up to 50 per cent discounts after Jet Airways has announced the same scheme.[21]

From 13 August 2014, SpiceJet started commercial flights to Kathmandu (Nepal) from Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal (India).


Revenue Passenger Kilometres (Total)
Year Traffic
2008 4397
2009 4819
2010 6807
2011 8639
2012 10322
Source: SpiceJet annual reports
Main article: SpiceJet destinations

SpiceJet is currently operating over 350 flights daily to 48 Indian and 10 international destinations. The airline flies Boeing 737-800 and −900ERs to Tier I cities and Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s to Tier II and Tier III cities. After completing 5 years of flying, SpiceJet was allowed to commence international flights by the Airports Authority of India on 7 September 2010. SpiceJet launched flights from Delhi to Kathmandu and Chennai to Colombo. The first international flight took off on 7 October 2010 from the Delhi airport.[22]

In April 2011, SpiceJet announced that they chose Hyderabad's Rajiv Gandhi International Airport as the first and primary base for its new fleet of Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft. From Hyderabad, SpiceJet launched flights to Aurangabad, Belgaum, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Indore, Madurai, Mangalore, Nagpur, Nasik, Raipur, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, and Vijayawada with the new fleet.[23]

On 12 January 2012, SpiceJet's fleet went up to 40 as Boeing delivered a brand new 737-800 aircraft. SpiceJet announced on its website that they would be launching flights on SuratDelhi and Surat—Mumbai routes following several requests from the carrier's fans on the social media network Facebook. Around 6 days later, SpiceJet's market share rose by 2.5% after the aviation and finance ministries announced that foreign carriers can now buy up to 49% stake in Indian carriers, including the national flag carrier, Air India.[24] SpiceJet increases frequency on Delhi-Hyderabad route [25]


SpiceJet placed its first firm order for 20 Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s in March 2005, with deliveries scheduled up to 2010.[26] Again in November 2010, SpiceJet order for another 30 Boeing 737-800s with winglets in the presence of the American president, Barack Obama. Neil Mills, the chief executive officer of SpiceJet said "We are extremely satisfied with the Next-Generation 737—an airplane that is reliable, allows for greater efficiency in maintenance and supports the business plan for low-cost carriers".[27] On 9 December 2010, Bombardier Aerospace announced that SpiceJet placed a firm order for 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop airliners and has also placed an option to buy another 15 of those. SpiceJet used its fleet of Q400s for short-haul operations.[28] Each aircraft in the SpiceJet fleet is named after a spice[29][30] SpiceJet sold five of its old Boeing 737-800 to other operators on receiving new ones. One of the five was SpiceJet's own which is now in the possession of Somon Air.[31] In February 2012, SpiceJet announced that it would take the delivery of ten more aircraft during 2012, of which seven would be the Bombardier Q400.[32] In March 2014, Spicejet signed a $4.4 Bn deal with Boeing for procurement of 42 737-8 MAX aircraft.[33]

As of October 2014, the airline has the following fleet:

SpiceJet fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers
Boeing 737-800 32 0 189 19 dry leased
Boeing 737MAX 8 42
Boeing 737-900ER 6 212
Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 15 15 78 1 dry leased
Total 53 57

Historic fleet[edit]

As ModiLuft, the airline had operated the following fleet of aircraft.

SpiceJet historic fleet
Aircraft Operated Introduced Retired
Boeing 737-200 4 1993 1996
Boeing 737-400 3 1995 1996

Current Fleet[edit]

SpiceJet currently has a new generation fleet of 41 Boeing 737-800/ 900ER aircraft which are bywords in passenger safety and operating efficiency along with newly acquired 15 Bombardier Q400 aircraft for enhancing connectivity to Tier II and Tier III cities. The airlines also has six Boeing 737-900ER aircraft at its disposal.


In-flight entertainment[edit]

SpiceJet provides little in-flight entertainment. MaXposure Media Group, an integrated media solutions company publishes SpiceRoute, the official in-flight magazine.[34]


SpiceMax is a combo offer provided by the airline that includes priority check-in and extra legroom. SpiceMax can be bought per passenger per sector for all passengers. It can also be availed after the booking via Manage my Booking option. At international airports across India, SpiceMax guests are provided assistance at a dedicated SpiceMax counter and are checked in first. The airline calls this feature Priority check-in. The introductory offer of availing SpiceMax is INR500 (US$8.10) on domestic flights and international flights.[2]

Spice Add-ons[edit]

Spice Add-ons has a host of benefits that includes domestic travel insurance, in-flight meals, excess baggage allowance, bag out first, SpiceMax, student discounts and other offers.


SpiceConnect is an exclusive membership with features such as a personalized dashboard to smoothen the booking process, express bookings to make quick bookings, a safe store to make quick, secure payments, and a feature that keeps you updated with the latest offers from SpiceJet.

My Spice Trip[edit]

This is a travel service in partnership with tripfactory.com. This is a separate product offering travel search and deals for travel and hotels. [35]

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • No. 1 on-time performance as per DGCA computed for Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad for the month of February 2014.
  • No. 1 on-time performance as per DGCA computed for the month of January 2014, for six metro airports to include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
  • No. 1 on-time performance as per DGCA computed for the month of December 2013, for six metro airports to include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai.
  • India’s Best Low Cost Airline by Outlook Traveller (2008, 2010, 2011 & 2012)
  • India’s International Low Cost Carrier of the Year- 2012 by Travel Agents Association of India. (TAAI)
  • India’s Most Outstanding Airline LCC-Domestic Award, by Travel and Hospitality. (2012)
  • Best LCC Website at 'World Low Cost Airlines Asia Pacific Conference', Singapore. (2010, 2011 & 2012)
  • India's Top 100 CIO Award for customer satisfaction and business growth category. (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 & 2012)
  • India’s best low-fare airline in a survey conducted by MaRs on behalf of Hindustan Times (Dec 2009)
  • World Travel Market Award for multi-channel approach in distribution. (2009)
  • National Award (ICWAI) for excellence in Cost Management. (2009)


  1. ^ SpiceJet News
  2. ^ a b "Introducing SpiceJet Max". SpiceJet. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Now, SpiceJet offers Rs 499 fare on domestic network". Times of India. 1 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "SpiceJet Contact Information | SpiceJet Airlines". Spicejet.com. Retrieved 14 September 2010. 
  5. ^ "SpiceJet edges past Jet Airways to be second largest passenger carrier for July". Business Standard. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Nair, Vipin V. (4 July 2008). "SpiceJet Rises in Mumbai on Report of Kingfisher Deal (Update2)". Bloomberg. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  7. ^ "Contact Us." SpiceJet. Retrieved 24 January 2013. "Corporate Office: SpiceJet Ltd., 319, Udyog Vihar, Phase IV, Gurgaon – 122016 Haryana, India." and "Registered Office: Murasoli Maran Towers, 73, MRC Nagar Main Road, MRC Nagar, Chennai- 600028, Tamil Nadu."
  8. ^ "Company History – SpiceJet". moneycontrol.com. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  9. ^ "SPICEJET SELECTS BOEING". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  10. ^ "SpiceJet gets AAI approval for parking slots in Mumbai and Delhi". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  11. ^ "SpiceJet books 37,000 seats on day 1.". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Shri Praful Patel flags off SpiceJet.". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  13. ^ 11 Jun 2010, 03.31 pm IST,AGENCIES (11 June 2010). "Kalanithi Maran to buy 37% stake in SpiceJet". The Economic Times. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Kalanidhi Maran buys 37.7 p.c. stake in SpiceJet". The Hindu. 13 June 2010. Retrieved 8 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Fund infusion critical for SpiceJet". Business Standard. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  16. ^ Spicejet owes Govt Rs 366 million
  17. ^ "IndiGo, SpiceJet airlines violate mandatory safety norms: DGCA". India Today. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  18. ^ "Standalone Result – 31-Dec-11". Bombay Stock Exchange. Retrieved 2 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "Marans to pump Rs 100 cr into SpiceJet, up stake to 48.6 pc". CNN-IBN (India). Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  20. ^ "SpiceJet returns to profit". The Hindu. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  21. ^ "Jet Airways, SpiceJet offers 50 percent discount". Patrika Group (1 August 2014). Retrieved 1 August 2014. 
  22. ^ "SpiceJet to commence international operations. Booking opens for flights to Colombo and Kathmandu.". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  23. ^ "Hyderabad’s RGIA to be a key base for SpiceJet’s Q-400 operations". SpiceJet. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  24. ^ "Jet Air, SpiceJet Rise in Mumbai on Foreign Investment Plan". Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 23 January 2012. 
  25. ^ http://www.indtoday.com/spicejet-introduces-new-flight-delhi-hyderabad-route-indtoday-com/
  26. ^ "Star Navigation Announces Firm Orders from SpiceJet.". SpiceJet. Retrieved 27 January 2013. 
  27. ^ "Boeing, SpiceJet Finalize Order for 30 Next-Generation 737-800s". Boeing. Retrieved 8 November 2010. 
  28. ^ "Bombardier Sells 15 Q400 NextGen Aircraft to India's SpiceJet". Bombardier. Retrieved 30 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "CH-Aviation – Airline News, Fleet Lists & More". Ch-aviation.ch. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  30. ^ "SpiceJet – Details and Fleet History – Planespotters.net Just Aviation". Planespotters.net. Retrieved 30 August 2010. 
  31. ^ Thomas Noack. "SpiceJet's historic fleet". planestoppers.net. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  32. ^ "Auditors cast doubts on SpiceJet's ability to stay afloat". Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 15 February 2012. 
  33. ^ "Boeing, SpiceJet ink $4.4 Bn deal for 737-8 Max Aircrafts [sic] at India Aviation 2014". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  34. ^ "SpiceRoute". MaXposure Media Group. Retrieved 14 January 2013. 
  35. ^ http://travel.financialexpress.com/latest-updates/2607-spicejet-partners-with-tripfactory-com-to-launch-myspicetrip-com

External links[edit]