New Delhi: Budget airlines SpiceJet Ltd and IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd) have stepped in to partly fill the void following Jet Airways' grounding on Wednesday night. The move is expected to help partly restore the disruption in air transport capacity and stabilize fares.
SpiceJet, India’s second-largest budget carrier by market share, on Thursday said it will induct 27 more planes to its fleet, including half a dozen Boeing Co. 737-800 NG, on dry lease over the next 10 days. Earlier, it had announced that it plans to add 16 B737 and five Bombardier Inc. Q400 aircraft. The airline said in a statement that it has sought approval from industry regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), to import the planes.
SpiceJet currently has a fleet of 78 aircraft, including 50 Boeing 737, 27 Q-400s and one B737 freighter jet. It operates 516 daily flights to 60 destinations, which include 51 domestic and nine international routes.
SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director, Ajay Singh, said the airline is taking all possible measures to deal with the sudden reduction in capacity.
“SpiceJet continues to work closely with the government and regulatory authorities to help minimise passenger inconvenience," Singh said.
Meanwhile, IndiGo said its capacity expansion plan is on track. “We are happy with our current order stream of 430 A320 Neos of which we have already taken delivery of 74 aircraft as of yesterday, 17 April 2019. The delivery of the remaining aircraft are scheduled over the next 5-6 years and we are regularly inducting the planes as per our agreed timelines with Airbus," IndiGo said in a statement.
The airline has more than 200 aircraft and operates about 1,400 daily flights to 53 domestic and 18 international destinations.
IndiGo, which commands about a 40% share of the domestic aviation market, had announced Tuesday that it plans to add 10 flights from Mumbai and eight from Delhi from May, to offer affordable travel options to customers during the busy season.
On Thursday, civil aviation ministry officials met airport operators to temporarily reassign Jet Airways’ routes to other carriers to bridge the capacity gap. Introduction of new flights by existing domestic airlines would, however, depend on the availability of aircraft and crew.
“Consequent to the decision of Jet Airways (India) Ltd to temporarily suspend all flight operations beyond 17 April 2019, the DGCA would take action following due procedure under relevant regulations," a government official said on condition of anonymity, referring to reassignment of the slots of Jet Airways.
“The DGCA will ask the company for a concrete and credible revival plan to restart suspended operations."
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.