SpiceJet has informed the stock market that the airline has been designated as an Indian scheduled carrier to operate on agreed services between India and the USA.
SpiceJet will operate on the India-US route as per terms of Air Services Agreement between the two countries.Tweet
“This designation would help us plan for our international expansion in a much better and calibrated manner,” Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, said in a statement.
Till now, Air India was the only local carrier to operate between India and the US, through the Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate Indian citizens.
“This is to inform you that in terms of the Air Services Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America, SpiceJet has been designated as Indian scheduled carrier to operate on agreed services between India and the USA. This is for dissemination to all stakeholders,” SpiceJet said in its statement to the exchanges on July 23.
Commercial international flights from India have been suspended since March 2020 due to the lockdown.
According to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, 2,526 return flights were carried out as part of the Vande Bharat mission up to July 21, carrying more than 3.4 lakh passengers.
Of these, 1,262 were inbound flights with 2.3 lakh passengers and 1,264 outbound flights with over 1 lakh aircraft.
It is still unclear which plane SpiceJet will fly to the United States.
Until the launch of COVID-19, the airline worked for international short-haul destinations in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
A large-body, long-haul aircraft is required for the United States. Although SpiceJet had wet-leased an A330 aircraft from Oman, it is not clear whether it will use this aircraft for flights to the United States.
- A wet lease is when the tenant receives crew, insurance and maintenance in addition to the leased aircraft.
Industry observers said the airline could only use the A330 for U.S. flights if it could make a stopover.
“With payload restrictions, it can fly to very few destinations in the US. In all likelihood, it may need a technical stop in Europe,” said a senior executive from the industry.
Executives point out that Oman Air also has the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which can fly from India to the United States.
“If it’s a long term wet lease, of more than 60 days, then the airline from whom SpiceJet has leased, will have to get approval from the economic authority and safety authority from the USA,” said Nitin Sarin, Managing Partner of Sarin & Co, which specializes in aviation law.Nitin Sarin, Managing Partner of Sarin & Co
At the same time, he noticed that the offer on the route increased. Although Air India has increased flights on the routes to the United States, United Airlines has also started the flight to India.
Among other Indian airlines, IndiGo is expected to join these airlines soon, with the country’s largest airline also getting wide-body aircraft in wet leasing.
Vistara, which already has a Boeing 787-9 in its fleet, plans to launch flights to Europe and the United States.
(With Inputs From Money Control)
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