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Photo: Mint (Mint)
Photo: Mint (Mint)

SpiceJet to start flights to London from 4 December

  • Ajay Singh said, while London is the first long-haul destination for SpiceJet, the airline will announce more such long-haul destinations in the future

NEW DELHI: No-frills carrier SpiceJet Limited will fly to London's Heathrow Airport from New Delhi and Mumbai starting 4 December, the airline's chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said on Monday.

The airline will operate two weekly flights between Delhi and London and one weekly flight between Mumbai and London on an Airbus A330 aircraft which it recently took on a wet lease for carrying out long -haul international operations.

SpiceJet had earlier in August 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 UK.

Speaking at a virtual press conference to announce SpiceJet's plans to fly to the United Kingdom, the airline's promoter Ajay Singh said while London is the first long-haul destination for SpiceJet, the airline will announce more such long-haul destinations in the future.

SpiceJet's flights to London will be operated under the India-UK air bubble agreement. Air bubbles or travel corridors allow designated airlines of two nations to fly passengers either way without any restriction. India currently has air bubble arrangements with several countries, including the US, UK, UAE, Maldives, France, Germany, Canada, Qatar, Bahrain, Nigeria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Japan. However, operating under an air bubble agreement with the UK, during the covid-19 pandemic means that only specific categories of passengers such as Non Residential Indians (NRIs) and long-term UK visa holders will be able to board the flights.

At present, Indian airlines, which include the national carrier Air India Limited and Vistara, a joint venture between Tata sons and Singapore Airlines, operate multiple weekly flights between India and the UK. British airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic similarly operate flights between the two countries.

Meanwhile, Singh said travel demandis gradually improving amid the covid-19 pandemic, which has adversely affected the aviation sector.

"It is tough to say if the worst is behind us. However, I can see confidence returning, and people are understanding it's safe to fly," Singh said.

"Once some quarantine restrictions are lifted, I think people will travel to London," he added.

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