Mumbai: Jet Airways (India) Ltd on Wednesday said that it will introduce an additional 144 weekly flights as part of its summer schedule, starting March-end.

“As part of the new schedule, Jet Airways will strengthen connectivity between the country’s capital and the northeastern region," Jet Airways said in a statement.

Jet Airways’ move to increase flights comes after the country’s aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded 11 Airbus A320Neo aircraft, powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, belonging to IndiGo and GoAir, causing both airlines to cancel several flights over the last two days.

The Naresh Goyal-led airline is also starting non-stop flights from Pune to Patna, Raipur and Chandigarh. It will begin a daily, non-stop service between Mumbai and Tiruchirappalli and Tiruchirappalli and Delhi.

“The upcoming robust connectivity between the Northeast and India’s financial as well as political capital is expected to provide a positive stimulus to the region’s economy, boosting tourism as well as development of business and trade, leading to enhancement of cargo movement," Jet Airways added.

Jet Airways currently operates over 500 daily flights, said a spokesperson of the airline.

Operations at both IndiGo and GoAir are expected to be significantly disrupted in the run-up to the peak travelling season that starts in April.

Flights that were cancelled during the last two days were mostly ones from the national capital and included busy routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Guwahati-Delhi, Indore-Mumbai and Delhi-Hyderabad.

GoAir on Tuesday said that it had cancelled 18 flights (daily) till 24 March following the grounding of three of its aircraft. IndiGo cancelled 48 flights on the same day.

According to Kinjal Shah, vice-president of corporate rating at Icra, the grounded planes account for about 3% of the total fleet maintained by domestic airlines.

Other airlines are looking to fill the supply vacuum created by the grounding of IndiGo and GoAir aircraft.

Air India, which operates wide-bodied aircraft on the Delhi-Mumbai sector, could increase the number of aircraft on popular domestic routes to cater to the high demand during the summer season, a senior airline official said.

A SpiceJet spokesperson said that the airline can’t comment on its frequency or routes for the upcoming summer schedule since it is yet to be approved by the regulator.

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