SpiceJet has become the country’s first budget airline to be designated as the ‘Indian Scheduled Carrier’ for flights to the US. Until now, the only Indian airline operating in the India and US route was Air India. But now SpiceJet also has the approval to operate flights to the US. This was announced by SpiceJet in a recent regulatory filing. The airline will have to follow all the Air Services Agreement on which this approval has been given. It is very interesting since IndiGo and other airlines would also want to get approval for operating flights to the US.
SpiceJet Planning for International Operations for Sometime Now
A few days back, it was reported that SpiceJet is looking to expand its international flight services. For that, the airline was planning to wet-lease an Airbus A330. For the unaware, wet lease means that the airline would not only lease the aircraft but along with that, it will also get the operating crew and fuel in certain cases for the aircraft.
Airbus A330 is a wide-body aircraft and will be suitable for flying long haul flights. Going to the US means sitting on a long-haul flight only. Thus, SpiceJet looking to wet-lease an aircraft during this time makes more sense now.
Chairman and Managing Director of SpiceJet, Ajay Sing said that this designation is very helpful for the airline. Since they were looking to expand international flight operations, this will help them. In fact, they will be able to expand in a more calibrated manner now as the airline won’t have a lot of competition at initial stages.
Ajay Singh added, “I have always maintained that there is an opportunity in every adversity and the present crisis situation has seen SpiceJet rise to the occasion and play a pivotal role.”
According to CRISIL’s audit report of SpiceJet, things do not look good for the future of the airline. There is very low liquidity and wet-leasing of an Airbus A330 would mean more money going out. Thus it is essential that this move from the airline pays off if it takes place.