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Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

SpiceJet secures slots at London's Heathrow airport

  • The airline will be able to operate flights to the airport at least till the end of the summer schedule in October following which such slot allocation could be extended for the winter schedule between November to April for regular operations

NEW DELHI : No-frill carrier SpiceJet Limited has secured slots at London's Heathrow Airport to operate flights from 1 September, about a fortnight after it was designated as Indian scheduled carrier to the United Kingdom (UK), the airline said in a stock exchange notification.

The airline will be able to operate flights to the airport at least till the end of the summer schedule in October following which such slot allocation could be extended for the winter schedule between November to April for regular operations.

"This is presently under the bubble arrangement between India and UK and effective upto end of summer schedule i.e. October 23, 2020. The same shall be extended (on the) basis (of) the resumption of regular operations," the airline said in a statement.

"The Company is also in advance discussion to secure slots for (the) winter schedule for regular operations," it added without elaborating further.

SpiceJet has recently taken a widebody Airbus A330-900 on wet-lease to carry out its long-haul operations. A wet lease is a leasing arrangement whereby the lessor provides an aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance to an airline, which pays by hours operated.

The Indian government has extended the suspension of scheduled international flight services to 31 August. However, repatriation flights and cargo flights are allowed to operate. Scheduled commercial international flights have been suspended since March to contain the spread of covid-19 pandemic.

The Indian government has also held talks with countries like the US, France, Germany and the UK, among the others, to resume international flights under 'bilateral air bubbles, which will let Indian airlines and its foreign counterparts operate limited flights between the nations.

In this case, bilateral air bubbles is a mechanism to resume international flights between India and other countries with certain pre-conditions, which regulates movement in view of the current covid-19 pandemic, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said last month.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet, which reported its largest ever quarterly loss of 807 crore for the March quarter, has been flagged by its auditors

S.R. Batliboi and Associates Llp, who have raised doubts about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern.

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