Friday, July 24, 2020

SpiceJet says it has won rights to fly to the US, UK: Is it a big deal and other questions answered

By any measure, the development is a significant one. SpiceJet has now got rights to operate flights to the US and the UK, among the two busiest destinations out of India.

Approval for the UK destinations came on July 24, a day after SpiceJet got designated for the US. With this, the airline has presumably taken an early lead among its private peers, especially IndiGo and Vistara, who are also eager to fly to these two countries.

At present, Air India is the only Indian airline operating flights to these markets. No private airline, since Jet Airways got grounded in April last year, has flown to these long haul destinations.

Industry observers, however, pointed out many questions that remain unanswered. Most crucial of which is this: What after getting designated; what is the next step for SpiceJet?
The US and the UK are two countries with big Indian diaspora. Destinations such as New York and London have the heaviest traffic on flights from India.

Even for the Vande Bharat Mission flights, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had underlined that the US and London routes are the busiest.

In an earlier story in Moneycontrol, it emerged that Air India was making about Rs 2 crore from each of its flight to San Francisco, from Delhi. Since then United has started operations from India - after this controversy - and Air India itself has slashed fares by 25 percent. Despite the fare cuts and increased supply, these are routes good for business.

Though SpiceJet, and rest of its private peers, have begun operating repatriation flights to destinations in the Middle -East and the South-East, they also would be eager to get a piece of the other pies, which are Europe and North America.
24/07/20 Prince Mathews Thomas/
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