Two senior SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) executives were compelled to resign after their spouses registered an aviation company, raising significant conflict-of-interest issues, it emerged this week.

In October 2023, ch-aviation reported that Meenakshi Kashyap, the wife of SpiceJet chief operating officer Arun Kashyap, and Ajay Bhatia, the husband of chief commercial officer Shilpa Bhatia, had registered an unlisted private company called Sirius India Airlines Pvt. Ltd. The entity's stated primary business activity is warehousing and aviation support activities, but there was speculation at the time that it may have been an airline start-up vehicle. A SpiceJet spokesperson said the airline was unaware of the business registration until media reports of it surfaced.

Earlier this month, ch-aviation noted the abrupt resignations of Kashyap and Bhatia. In a statement, SpiceJet said they left as part of carrier's "strategic restructuring." This week, India's Mint news outlet reported they were asked to leave.

"It was unacceptable that the top executives of an airline were entering the same business via their spouses," a source familiar with the situation told Mint. "Arun Kashyap submitted his resignation a month ago. It has also been some time since Shilpa Bhatia put in her papers."

SpiceJet's management is currently restructuring the business to make it more competitive and financially viable. To keep affairs tidy, the budget carrier slotted Kashyap's and Bhatia's exits into a February 2024 decision to lay off around 1,400, or 15%, of the overall workforce by the end of March. The move will save INR100 million rupees (USD1.2 million) in annual payroll expenses.