Last fiscal, for instance, SpiceJet was able to grow passenger traffic 44 per cent, more than double the industry average.
At least half this growth, says Aggarwal, who took charge in December 2008 at the height of the aviation slowdown, was on account of "sweating its assets more than usual" by increasing aircraft utilisation.
This metric refers to the number of block hours that an aircraft flies in a day and is a key way for airlines to maximise revenue.
By focusing attention on ground-handling and refueling times, and re-jigging airline schedules, SpiceJet was able to raise aircraft utilisation to 12.5 hours a day from 10.5 hours in 2008-09 Ã¢Â€Â” significantly higher than Kingfisher's 9.5 hours, Jet's 10.5 hours and Air India's 8.5 hours.
This alone helped lower SpiceJet's cost base.
Today, as a result of better aircraft utilisation, SpiceJet's cost per available seat km (a measure of per-seat operating costs) is Rs 2.30, much lower than that of competing airlines like Kingfisher and Jet's which have around 60 per cent of their capacity in low-cost operations.
Also see: Delhi airport to be made global airline hub