Friday, June 18, 2021

Talks for resumption of SpiceJet MAX aircraft in India currently on hold

SpiceJet, the sole operator of MAX in India, is currently yet to re-initiate talks with the civil aviation regulator DGCA on MAX resumption and several layers of processes are pending such as training of pilots, getting the aircraft and simulator ready, officials said.

Once some of these tasks are completed by the low-cost carrier, then the matter of MAX returning back to service is expected to gather momentum, officials said.

One of the reasons for the delay in discussions over the resumption of MAX in India could be the under-utilisation of the existing capacity of the Indian aviation market, one of the officials said.

Currently, the government has permitted airlines to operate 50 percent capacity in the domestic aviation market. However, even then the capacity utilisation is weak due to dampened passenger sentiment amidst the covid pandemic.

The Boeing MAX aircraft was grounded across the globe in March 2019 following two fatal accidents involving the aircraft type.

SpiceJet, the second-largest airline in India with nearly 13 percent market share, had 13 MAX aircraft in its fleet when the ban was imposed. The total order book of SpiceJet for MAX extends up to 205 airplanes with firm orders of 155 aircraft.

CNBC-TV18 sent a query to the airline about the latest status of MAX resumption and asked about what is the airline doing to bring MAX back to service. "No comments," responded the airline's spokesperson.

17/08/21 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18

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