Friday, July 17, 2020

In a first, IndiGo & SpiceJet to wet-lease planes to launch long-haul overseas flights

New Delhi: As India resumes air travel with various nations, IndiGo and SpiceJet, in a first, are leasing long-haul planes on a wetlease to launch flights to the UK and Europe.
 While SpiceJet has already leased one Airbus 330 aircraft from Oman Air to launch flights to London from July 27, IndiGo is in discussions to lease three Airbus 330s for such flights. IndiGo, according to sources, has not yet finalised on destinations but may look at ying to London and Paris both.
 “SpiceJet would also use Oman Air’s slot available at Heathrow to launch this flight. They are also looking at leasing three more for such flights. IndiGo, on the other hand, is looking to wet-lease three aircraft to launch these flights,” said a person in the know, who did not want to be identified.
It will be the first time these airlines y such long-haul routes, and learning from these shortterm flights could be utilised in the future to launch their own long-haul flights. Making Indian airlines y long-haul international has been a consistent endeavour of the aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who has always maintained that Indian airlines should fly directly to these destinations and take away traffic from international carriers that fly passengers through various hubs.
 “Under the new norm of flying post-Covid, people would prefer direct flights over a break journey through hubs. If Indian airlines can utilise this opportunity to prepare themselves for long-haul flights, there will be new business available for them. We would like to see money spent on travel coming to Indian airlines rather than going to airlines in the Middle East or Southeast Asia,” said a senior government official, who did not want to be identified.
 17/07/20 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times
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