Spicejet, one of the budget airlines of India, has a long history that began with the era of deregulation of the civil aviation industry in India, about 20 years ago in 1993. Then known as ModiLuft, this airline arose as a result of joint partnership of the Modi group from India with the technical expertise and leased aircraft from German aviation major, Lufthansa. In those years, ModiLuft was the only Indian airline which offered three categories of seating on its flights.
However, due to significant problems of parity of business in German and Indian partnership, Modiluft stopped operations in 1996. It changed hands and was rechristened first as Royal Airways and thereafter, in 2004, as Spicejet, after it adopted a low-cost carrier business model. So, in matter of a decade, this three category international flights operator became a single-category budget airline, focused mainly on the domestic market and a few close-by international destinations. The airlines chose the Boeing 737-800 Next Generation aircraft for its fleet. When the Spicejet booking was opened on the first day, there were an amazing 37000 bookings on a single day. The first domestic flight of the airline was Delhi to
Mumbai, via Ahmedabad on May 24, 2005. Interestingly, the Delhi-Mumbai direct flight was also the first flight of the erstwhile ModiLuft. In the next three years, it grew phenomenally to capture the second largest domestic market share.
Kalanidhi Maran, Indian media tycoon, acquired a 37.7 percent stake in the airline in June 2010. Later that year, the airline began to provide the cheap international flights to the people when it got the approval from the government after successfully flying for five years on domestic turf. The first Spicejet booking for cheap international flights was opened for the Delhi-Kathmandu route.
The fleet of the airline was refurbished with the induction of Bombardier q-400 NextGen aircraft for short-distance flights and Hyderabad International Airport was declared its primary base. This further increased its market share. However, even as the market share was increasing, there were losses being incurred at the stock exchange in 2011 and the rise of fuel prices in 2012 further added to the losses.
Besides the Spicejet booking for the passengers, it also provides the cargo booking facilities on the same aircraft connecting about 17 domestic destinations. This helps it to utilize the aircraft to the maximum and also to generate additional revenue apart from the flight bookings.