SpiceJet, the second-largest low-cost carrier in India after IndiGo is all set to induct Boeing 737 MAX planes into its fleet. However, it seems that the airline has run into some hurdles regarding its induction. As per anew CNBC TV18 report on the matter, SpiceJet’s CMD, Ajay Singh has remarked that it is “disappointing” and that SpiceJet will have to make use of more leased aircrafts in the short term until it receives delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX. Previously, the Boeing 737 MAX was expected to return to the SpiceJet fleet in early 2020, but now as per the new timeline, the aircraft will make a return in mid 2020.
Heavy Regulatory Scrutiny on Boeing 737 MAX
Boeing has cautioned its customers because of heavy scrutiny by the regulators. The aircraft manufacturer said, “It (timeline) is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX’s flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements.”
Boeing 737 MAX Delay Hurts SpiceJet New Airline Plans
The delay in the return of Boeing 737 MAX means that SpiceJet will have to take a wet-lease for more aircrafts. This also means that the airline will have to spend more on fuel. The carrier might be looking to induct around 5-6 new planes. Also, the carrier has been planning to set a new airline in Ras Al Khaimah. But, with delays in the delivery of the Boeing 737 MAX might mean that those plans might also get delayed. SpiceJet has placed an order of 205 aircrafts which are all Boeing 737 MAX. Out of these orders, 155 are firm orders and the rest 50 are options. Thirteen of these orders were inducted in March 2019 into the SpiceJet fleet.