Budget Carrier SpiceJet has gathered significant attention from lessor Carlyle Aviation Partners as it is keenly looking to increase partnership with the airline, specifically, the cargo wing – SpiceXpress.
SpiceJet & Carlyle Aviation
Carlyle Aviation Partners is a leasing company founded in 2002. This company has assets of around $11.4 billion under its management. It owns a fleet of 387 aircraft. In the year 2022, it purchased aircraft worth $5 billion. It serves 116 customers across a network spanning 56 countries. In short, it is a big fish.
A big fish showing interest in the cash-strapped airline can be a game changer for the airline. Recently, SpiceJet Managing Director Ajay Singh and President of Carlyle Aviation Partners discussed strategies and plans for the cargo arm of SpiceJet – SpiceXpress. In August 2023, SpiceJet officially differentiated the cargo arm from the airline.
SpiceXpress currently has a fleet of 3 Boeing 737-700 Converted Freighters. The age of all these exceeds 23 years old. They have names: Bolt, Sonic, and Flash. Bolt has remained parked for a long time now. One more aircraft is currently undergoing cargo conversion at Yichang Sanxia International Airport in China. It has been in China since May 2022.
This partnership is not new. For Your Information, Carlyle Aviation Partners is already a stakeholder in SpiceJet. The lessor financing unit holds a seven percent stake. In August 2023, SpiceJet sought approval from shareholders to issue a 5.91 percent stake to Carlyle Aviation partners.
SpiceJet owed around $28 million to Carlyle Aviation Partners. With the issuance of this equity stake, the debt was converted to equity. With this, Carlyle onboarded SpiceJet. Now, it is looking at more options. At the same time, MD Ajay Singh also invested Rs 500 crore in the airline.
SpiceJet, in December, received approval for funding of Rs 2,250 crore. With this funding, the airline is planning to grow its network. The airline’s Annual General Meeting concluded on January 10th. At the meeting, the airline Managing Director unveiled plans for the airline. The plans include the initiation of services from Ayodhya and Lakshadweep. Ayodhya is a newly inaugurated airport, while demand for Lakshadweep has peaked recently because of the social media war between Maldives and India.
SpiceJet wants to bring back 25 aircraft to operational status. Due to a cash crunch and a shortage of supply parts, approximately half of the airline’s fleet is presently on the ground. Successfully bringing these aircraft back into operation would be highly beneficial for the airline in the long run.