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SpiceJet Announces Appointment of New CFO

Mr. R. Neelakantan returns to airline as CFO; new leadership including experts from Air Asia and Air Asia X in Pricing and Revenue Management, and other senior professionals in Sales, E-commerce, and IT also announced

Gurgaon, March 4th, 2014: SpiceJet Ltd today announced the appointment of Mr. R. Neelakantan as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Neelakantan served as SpiceJet’s CFO earlier from November 2010 to February 2013, and is returning to this role after serving as the Head of Internal Audit for the Sun Group in the interim period.

Mr. Neelakantan established excellent relationships with key stakeholders, and was part of the SpiceJet senior team post the acquisition of the airline by the Sun Group.

“I am delighted to welcome Neelakantan back to SpiceJet as we continue to strengthen our management and transform the airline. Neelakantan’s return further boosts the senior leadership team, which had earlier been boosted by the hiring of new Chief Commercial Officer Kaneswaran Avili who will be joining SpiceJet on April 1. Mr Avili will bring deep LCC experience with him, having been part of the founding team of Air Asia where he served for several years, and subsequently Director of Commercial at Tiger Airways, Singapore,” Said Mr Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer (COO), SpiceJet Ltd.

Mr. Neelakantan’s return to SpiceJet is part of a well-thought out succession plan as outgoing CFO Sam Isaac had previously expressed his desire to move on to pursue other opportunities.

SpiceJet had earlier announced the appointment of Ms Shilpa Bhatia as Senior VP of Sales and Distribution, replacing Mr V. Raja who is retiring at the end of this month. Ms. Bhatia was also with SpiceJet earlier from August 2009 until May 2011, when she served as Head of Corporate Sales and Sales Strategy. Ms. Bhatia joined SpiceJet two weeks ago from the Sahara Group, where she was Global Head of Sales and Strategy for Sahara’s Quest business unit. SpiceJet further announced that Mr Sudhakar Kondisetty has joined SpiceJet as Senior VP of Information Technology, and has been given the charge of unlocking the full potential from IT to help the company innovate as well as save costs.

Mr Kondisetty is a globally experienced IT professional and worked with firms ranging from Cambridge Technology Partners, Ness Technologies, mPhasis, and Aspect Software, and his past experience includes the implementation of Navitaire for two airlines in South East Asia. Mr Kondisetty replaces Mr Virendar Pal, who had also earlier expressed his desire to pursue other opportunities, and is part of the overall succession planning.

Also joining SpiceJet on April 1 as VP and Head of Revenue Management is Fares Azeem Kilpady, who joins SpiceJet from Air Asia X, the long-haul arm of Air Asia where he was Head of Revenue and Management and Pricing. Mr Anurag Jain, who was heading Network Planning and Revenue Management, will now take on the role of Senior VP, Network Planning and Strategy Development.

“I am delighted at the addition of highly talented and experienced professionals with world class credentials to the SpiceJet management team”, said Mr. Kapoor.

“I am particularly delighted to have attracted back to SpiceJet, talented people who had been with the company earlier and are now coming back to help it in its transformation to a New SpiceJet. Their vote of confidence and desire to return to SpiceJet speaks volumes to the efforts and dedication of SpiceJet’s over 5600 employees who are putting all of their hearts into working tirelessly each day to transform the airline that means so much to them, an effort that both customers as well as other stakeholders in the industry are noticing and commenting favorably on.”

SpiceJet also stated that the recent sales and promotions offered by Spicejet over the last two months is normal practice of any well-run low cost airline. The promotions are targeted to achieve few key objectives:

  1. 1. Filling up seats that otherwise will be left empty
  2. 2. Stimulate new travelers and increasing the frequency of existing travelers.
  3. 3. Limited to flights that have capacity that is expected to not fill under normal course

Mr Kapoor stated, “These promotions have been launched by an expert team that is well-versed in LCC revenue and capacity management, and after analyzing the current consumer purchasing profiles and behaviors. These highly fenced and targeted are the best practices of all successful low cost airlines in the world. India is no different in terms of how the market reacts to price stimulation. As a whole these campaigns have helped revenue performance and as well helped stimulate the travel industry and wider economy as a whole”.

About SpiceJet:
SpiceJet is India’s second largest low cost airline with over 19% of market share in Indian domestic market.
SpiceJet connects it’s network using new generation fleet of 42 Boeing 737-800/ 900ER aircrafts, which are of the highest standard in safety and operating efficiency, along with 15 Bombardier Q400 aircrafts that are more focused on enhancing connectivity to Tier II and Tier III cities.

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