NEW DELHI: Even as one private carrier (Jet Airways) is struggling to remain operational, two other carriers- IndiGo and SpiceJet are expanding their footprint. A week after announcing it is dry leasing 16 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, budget carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday announced adding five 90-seater Q400 aircraft, taking its Bombardier fleet size to 32. The new induction is expected to boost SpiceJet's regional connectivity as the airline operates the highest number of flights under the government's UDAN scheme.
The airline recently launched 14 new flights under the regional connectivity scheme. With these 14 additions, SpiceJet now operates 33 daily flights under UDAN. Spicejet on Monday had announced a slew of international flights from Mumbai. Likewise, India’s largest carrier IndiGo on the same day announced adding 18 additional flights from Mumbai and Delhi.
“IndiGo reinforces its commitment to enhancing connectivity to and from Mumbai and Delhi. Effective May 2019, the airline will operate 10 additional flights out of Mumbai and 8 additional flights from Delhi,” the carrier said in a statement. These flights will also connect to IndiGo’s existing domestic and international network.
“This is an effort to make it easier for customers to find affordable fares during the busy season,” IndiGo said. Owing to the cancellation of several flights by Jet Airways, airfares on an average have increased 20-30 per cent in the Mumbai-Delhi route, one of the busiest routes in the country. Additional flights in this and other routes can bring airfares back to a normal level.
Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “The sudden reduction of aviation capacity should in no way hamper air connectivity to the smaller towns and cities of India and as the country’s largest regional operator, SpiceJet will make all possible efforts in this direction.”