MUMBAI : Ajay Singh-promoted SpiceJet's plans to connect London from the winter have been grounded following its failure to secure slots at the Heathrow, the busiest European airport.

The Gurugram-based airline had applied for slots both at the Heathrow and Manchester to operate direct daily services from Amritsar and Mumbai, respectively, according to a source.

The airline was planning to deploy an Airbus 330 on these routes.

SpiceJet has been quite aggressive on its international expansion since the grounding of Jet Airways in April, as it could bag a sizeable number of landing rights in the Gulf and Southeast Asia.

"SpiceJet has applied for slots for a daily flight between Amritsar and London from this winter. As slots at the Heathrow are very scarce it could not get one," Airport Coordination Ltd, which is the slot coordinator for Heathrow airport, said in an email communication to PTI.

The London-based Airport Coordination handles slots at as many as 39 airports worldwide, including those in Canada, Poland, New Zealand, and the UAE among others.

A Manchester airport spokesperson, however, refrained from a direct response and said it continues to engage with airlines, including those from India.

"We continue to discuss commercial case for airlines to connect Manchester to key strategic markets, including India," said Louis Blake, communications head at Manchester Airports Group, in response to PTI query on the issue.

The Manchester Airports Group owns and operates the airports in Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands. Spicejet spokesperson did not comment.

Earlier also, the second largest budget carrier had attempted to connect London with Delhi and Amritsar from 2019 summer as part of its plans to launch long-haul operations.

The now-defunct Jet Airways had started operating to Manchester from Mumbai with an Airbus A330 last November, offering over weekly 8,500 seats. Besides, Jet was also flying from Mumbai and Delhi.

Spicejet currently operates around 550 daily flights to 61 destinations, including 52 domestic and nine international ones.

It accounted for nearly 10 percent of the total international traffic of the domestic carriers, which stood at 1,21,39,130 in the January-June period of 2019, as per DGCA data. During this period it ferried 12,02,267 international passengers.

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