New Delhi: Enthused by a 12% growth in traffic in contrast to a decline in the aviation industry, the new CEO of SpiceJet Sanjay Aggarwal has said he would transform the airline from a casual business entity to a professionally-run company within a year.
“I have no benchmark in India...when I joined I found the attitude was ‘ Chalta hai´ (casual). This is dangerous as there was no recognition for good work and no punishment for lapses...I will change it,” he said.
Asked, who he would like the Airline to be compared with and the time frame for the achievement, Aggarwal said, “I think Southwest Airlines (America) is the best in the business. I would like SpiceJet to be in that league... hopefully by our fifth anniversary i.e. May 2010.”
Claiming that the airline, where he took charge as CEO in December as a representative of single-largest investor Wilbur Ross, was financially on a strong footing and that it was a debt free company, Aggarwal said that the target would be to grow organically by connecting more cities or routes for which various options are being explored.
Spicejet would also keep its eyes and options open for any possible acquisition, he said but added that such a possibility could come up only in the next 8-10 months.
“We have Rothschild as our business partner...they always advise us,” he said when asked if they have assigned advisors and hunters for exploring the aviation market where the downturn could give them good properties at cheap prices.
The carrier’s market share has gone up to around 12% lately, compared to little over 10% earlier.