Saturday, May 4, 2013

Opinion- Neil Mills Day Out

Neelam Mathews
May 4, 2013
 Always one to call a spade a spade, we caught up with SpiceJet CEO Neil Mills at the launch of India Aviation 2014. Couldn't spot any other domestic airline CEO at the event.
While Mills was very clear in saying there was no FDI planned "for now," he wasn't saying 'never.' Which leads us to believe, there's a pot boiling in the kitchen.
Because, can it be a coincidence that there is sudden spurt in buying of the carrier's shares? Word has it that once media-shy Maran picks up 51%, announcements will be made.
Who could be SpiceJet's partner? Qatar has denied they are interested- but then, Qatar also denied they were joining OneWorld alliance a day before the announcement. We, at AerospaceDiary, wonder how a budget-full-service alliance would work given the logistics including the FFP and the IATA membership issues. But then, the times they are a changing.
ANA, that was said to be in talks with SpiceJet isn't doing that anymore, we hear, and may be aligning elsewhere.
Mills says the airline has been busy setting up its New Skies platform for booking and reservations that is efficient and "many LCCs like AirAsia have it."
Yes, and talking about the new kid on the block, Mills dismisses it with: "They have only 4 planes and this is not Malaysia."
On the recent talk of 'unbundling; with passengers having to pay for facilities they use, Mills says it's the difference between having buffet versus ala carte, where you get what you order. As we all know, ala carte is always more expensive! 
According to Mills, the airline hasn't yet asked for unbundling as it is still looking at the options.

One would have thought the budget carriers would have jumped at this. Perhaps they're waiting for the other to bell the cat. Ideas are IPR, we guess!

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