Aviation news: Will SpiceJet take over widebody aircraft of Jet Airways?
Ever since domestic airline Jet Airways stopped flying its planes, SpiceJet, among other airlines, has gained.
Ever since domestic airline Jet Airways stopped flying its planes, SpiceJet, among other airlines, has gained. SpiceJet has made the most out of the vacuum created by Jet Airways. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had allocated 130 airport slots to SpiceJet, used by the grounded airline, which included 68 prime slots at Mumbai airport.
According to a Reuters report, SpiceJet was weighing the pros and cons of taking over widebody jets of Jet Airways. However, SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh said the airline does not have firm plans yet to become a widebody operator. Currently, the airline operates narrowbody and turboprop planes.
“Certainly a gap has been created and there seems to be an opportunity but it is also a business that we don’t know very much about. A higher risk business,” Singh was quoted as saying. At least 25 Boeing Co 737 aircraft operated by Jet Airways have been taken on lease from Jet Airways in April and May.
The airline, however, said that another possibility is leasing or buying widebody aircraft from the grounded airline. Over the financial year ending March 31, 2020, SpiceJet is planning to add another 35 planes. These Jet Airways planes will be taken on lease, Singh said.
In the domestic market, SpiceJet's market share is way behind IndiGo's 49.9 percent, while SpiceJet had a 13.1 percent market share in April. However, the airline is hopeful that it be able to expand its operations even as the incumbent Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government took charge at the Centre.
However, volatile oil prices have been a cause of worry for the past one year for the airlines.