NEW DELHI: New Delhi: Budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd said on Friday it will take on lease 16 new aircraft that could be deployed in 10 days, subject to regulatory approvals. The move comes at a time airline capacity has seen a reduction because of a host of events, including the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft and Jet Airways (India) Ltd’s liquidity crunch.
The addition of aircraft to SpiceJet's fleet could help bridge the capacity gap and keep ticket prices from shooting up.
The airline said it is inducting the Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft on dry lease and has applied to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for clearance to import them.
“This is the first lot of Boeing 737s that we are inducting in our fleet. The sudden reduction of aviation capacity has created a challenging environment in the sector. SpiceJet is committed to working closely with the government authorities to augment capacity and minimize passenger inconvenience," said SpiceJet chairman Ajay Singh.
Jet Airways, which is struggling to cope with a liquidity crisis, on Thursday grounded 10 more planes because of non-payment of dues to aircraft lessors, bringing operations down to about 70 flights a day from more than 600 before the crisis hit the company, according to a person familiar with the company’s operations.
SpiceJet’s inductions will also help in its international and domestic expansion plans. The airline at present operates about 516 daily flights to 60 destinations, including 51 domestic and nine international ones, with a fleet of 78 aircraft that includes 50 Boeing 737, 27 Bombardier Q-400s and one B737 freighter.
On Friday, SpiceJet shares rose 8.65% to ₹109.90 apiece on the BSE while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.41% to end the day at 38,767.11