Spicejet is among the top three losers on the BSE currently, going down 8% to Rs.72.50 within minutes of opening for trade. The mood on the counter remains pretty somber.
Yesterday night, aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) passed orders to ground all Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, following the deadly Ethiopian Airline crash, killing all people on board. This was the second crash of the Boeing 737 Max within a span of six months.
This order does not affect Jet Airways as five of its Boeing 737 were already grounded due to non-payment issues. Spicejet has 12 Boeing 737 and as per the orders all these will not take off, which will be a huge impact on the airline.
Yet, defying the orders of the DGCA, at least 8 Spicejet aircrafts took off – two were returning from abroad but 6 took off for travel within India. There was news later that the DGCA had allowed Spicejet to fly till 4 pm today' World over, the moment the grounding was announced, flights turned around mid-air, giving passenger safety the first priority.
Spicejet, soon after the DGCA order was passed, claimed it has suspended all its Boeing 737 Max operations. It had stated, “Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us and we will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience.”
The airline released a separate statement on Twitter too, saying it has suspended Max 8 operations “from today onwards”.
The grounding of the aircrafts is certain to leave an impact on the profitbaility of the company in Q4 and depending on how long this ban continues, into the next quarter too.