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40 pilots quit SpiceJet; auditors doubt airline's viability

PTI 17 Nov 2014, 9:56:11 AM IST

Mumbai: Apprehending an uncertain future for the company, some 40-odd SpiceJet pilots including commanders have quit the airline during the past six months, say sources.

The airline auditors, in their recent report, have cast doubts over the ability of media baron Kalanithi Maran's budget carrier to run as a “going concern”.

The airline has reported fifth straight quarter of net losses for the July-September period, at Rs 310 crore, although it is down from the year-ago period when it had a net loss of Rs 559 crore.

The losses came down as the airline witnessed a 15 per cent growth in total revenue. For the past financial year, the airline had reported a record loss of a little over Rs 1,000 crore.

The pilots who have parted ways with SpiceJet include commanders, he said, adding that those who resigned did not want to take a chance, particularly after the grounding of the Kingfisher Airlines.

According to the source, the quitting of these pilots has  impacted the airline's operations significantly with its flights either delayed or cancelled. The airline had last week said it had reduced its fleet from 48 to 38 planes over the past few months.

Repeated phone calls and a text message sent to SpiceJet spokesperson remained unanswered.