Monday, April 15, 2019

SpiceJet tries to fill Jet Airways' void, to launch slew of international flights from Mumbai

Eyeing an opportunity to aggressively expand international operations, budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd will launch a slew of flights from Mumbai, connecting the financial capital to eight destinations directly, the airline said in a statement.

All proposed eight destinations were earlier serviced by Jet Airways from Mumbai. These include Hong Kong, Jeddah, Colombo, Dhaka, Riyadh, Bangkok and Kathmandu.

"SpiceJet will be the first and only Indian budget carrier to launch daily direct flights on the Mumbai-Colombo, Mumbai-Dhaka, Mumbai-Riyadh, Mumbai-Hong Kong and Mumbai-Kathmandu sectors. The airline will be deploying its Boeing 737 NG aircraft on the new routes," the airline said.

SpiceJet already connects Mumbai with a non-stop flight to Dubai and recently announced a new daily direct flight to Bangkok. The airline aims to enhance its operations between Mumbai and Dubai with two additional frequencies.

SpiceJet had last week announced six new domestic flights connecting Mumbai with Kolkata, Chennai and Varanasi.

The airline is expected to be the top beneficiary of the slot transfer process which got initiated when Jet Airways active fleet got reduced to 35 planes late March. While the civil aviation ministry suggested the arrangement, several airlines were in talks with airport operators privately as well to temporarily transfer the slots.

As many as 150 flight movements (arrival and departure) or slots were available just at Delhi airport post the sudden reduction of Jet Airways fleet and grounding of MAX planes in India following safety concerns.

The number of Jet Airways' unused lots available at Mumbai would be much higher as the city is the hub for the 26-year-old carrier.
15/04/19 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18

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