Sanjiv Kapoor resigned last week as chief operating officer (COO) of SpiceJet Ltd, India’s second-largest low-fare airline, after piloting it through two turbulent years. Kapoor was hired by SpiceJet’s former promoter and media baron Kalanithi Maran in 2013. Kapoor was at the helm during SpiceJet’s darkest hour on 16 December 2014, when the airline had to ground flights for 10 hours and employees on the frontlines were abused and even assaulted by agitated passengers. This was due to financial troubles.
In an interview, Kapoor says his job is done as the airline is stable and profitable and the co-founder is back, reports Mint.
In January, Ajay Singh, a co-founder of SpiceJet, who sold his stake in the airline in 2010, re-entered SpiceJet by buying a controlling stake from Maran. On Friday, Vistara, a full service airline run by Tata Sia Airlines Ltd, said Kapoor would be joining the airline as its chief strategy and commercial officer in February 2016.
Kapoor justified his move to Vistara. “Any airline, regardless of business model, needs to maximize revenues and minimize costs. Scale is important regardless of business model. All else being equal, the winners within any business model, FSC (full service), LCC (low-cost carrier), or hybrid, are the airlines that have the lowest cost and highest revenues within that model,” Kapoor says.