SpiceJet Faces Layoffs of 1400 Employees, Seeks ₹2,200 Crore Funding Amid Financial Struggles.image/Reuters
SpiceJet Faces Layoffs of 1400 Employees, Seeks ₹2,200 Crore Funding Amid Financial Struggles
SpiceJet, an Indian airline, is set to lay off 1,400 employees, constituting 15% of its total workforce, in an effort to reduce costs and attract investors, according to a report on Monday. The airline, facing financial challenges, has reportedly been delaying salary payments for several months, with some employees yet to receive their January pay. The total salary bill currently amounts to ₹60 crore, prompting the company to align costs with operational needs through these layoffs.
The carrier, with a current staff of 9,000 and a fleet of about 30 planes (including eight on wet lease from international carriers), is actively seeking a fund infusion of ₹2,200 crore. SpiceJet assures that funding plans are progressing well, with an official announcement expected soon.
During its peak in 2019, SpiceJet boasted a fleet of 118 planes and a workforce of 16,000 employees. Its closest competitor, Akasa Air, operates 23 planes with 3,500 employees. Recent legal issues have further compounded SpiceJet’s challenges, as the Delhi High Court instructed the airline to pay ₹50 crore to former promoter Kalanithi Maran and KAL Airways within six weeks, following an arbitral award from 2018.
Additionally, in November, Raymach Technologies initiated an insolvency petition against SpiceJet, citing a default of ₹2.7 crore under Section 9 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016. The company, claiming to have provided business consulting and technical support services, prompted SpiceJet to inform the National Company Law Tribunal on February 8 that it was actively working to resolve the matter with the vendor. The airline’s shares experienced a 3.8% drop on Monday morning, trading at ₹65.59 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange, in response to the news.