SpiceJet to raise about $47M to increase fleet size

Budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd is looking to raise Rs 300 crore (around $47 million) to increase its fleet size to 45-50 aircraft by the end of March 2016, according to a press release.

At present, SpiceJet had a fleet of 35 aircraft of which 20 are Boeing 737s and remaining 15 are Bombardier Q400s.

The board has also approved the formal appointment of promoter Ajay Singh, who came back at the helm of the carrier earlier this year, as the chairman and managing director of the company and his wife Shivani Singh as director to comply with the Securities and Exchange Board of India's (SEBI) norms for listed firms to have at least one woman director.

Ajay Singh will not be receiving any remuneration for the executive functions to be performed by him.

The company also appointed Harsha Vardhana Singh, adjunct professor at Columbia University, as an independent director.

The carrier was on the verge of shut-down when Ajay Singh came in and agreed to take over the company earlier this year.

Singh acquired controlling 58.46 per cent held by media magnate Kalanithi Maran, as part of the revival plan that would also see separate capital infusion of a little over Rs 1,875 crore ($300 million) from new as well as outgoing promoter Maran.

SpiceJet is the second-largest budget carrier in the country behind IndiGo and overall the fourth-largest carrier by passenger numbers in India.

Competition is intensifying in the domestic aviation sector with the entry of AirAsia and a separate full service airline Vistara, through a JV between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines.

Shares of SpiceJet last traded at Rs 17.8 each, down 0.56 per cent on BSE in a flat Mumbai market on Thursday.

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