Indian carrier SpiceJet hikes fares up to 15% on fuel, forex costs

Indian budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd said on Thursday it was raising fares as much as 15% to counter high fuel costs and a weak rupee, which it says are making the cost of operations unsustainable.

“Aviation turbine fuel prices have increased by more than 120% since June 2021. This massive increase is not sustainable,” airline managing director Ajay Singh said in a statement, asking the federal and state governments to cut taxes.

Shares of SpiceJet fell more than 5% after Singh’s comments.

Singh said the Indian currency’s fall against the dollar is also “significantly” affecting airlines that have substantial costs that are denominated in or pegged to the U.S. currency.

“We believe that a minimum 10%-15% increase in fares is required to ensure that cost of operations are better sustained,” he said, adding that fuel makes up more than 50% of an airline’s operational cost.

The rupee fell this week to a record low 78.28 to the dollar, marking a fall of nearly 5% this year. Surging crude oil and commodity prices since Russia invaded Ukraine in February have pushed up consumer prices globally.

(USD 1 = INR 77.895)

Source: Reuters

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