Yesterday, Indian media reported that budget carrier SpiceJet will be launching 12 new domestic flights this October. These new routes will be serviced by the airline’s Boeing 737-800 jets, according to sources. Competitor Jet Airways may have left the scene, but the Indian aviation market continues to heat up…
According to Indian news site ZeeBusiness, SpiceJet will launch its 12 new domestic flights during the week of October 12th. Each route will have a daily frequency signaling significant domestic sector expansion.
As of April 1st, SpiceJet has announced 142 new flights. These include 78 that connect numerous Indian cities to Mumbai. There will also be 30 flights to/from other Indian cities to Delhi, and finally, 12 flights between Mumbai and Delhi.
In addition to the 12 new domestic routes, SpiceJet will also be introducing daily non-stop service between the cities of Delhi and Aurangabad from October 8th. Furthermore, it will add frequency to Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Bengaluru routes.
On a wave of success
We recently reported on SpiceJet’s record profit as it published its financial results for the second quarter. Spicejet’s passenger fares increased by 11% in the period. The additional aircraft inducted into the fleet afforded the carrier the ability to increase seat capacity by 31%. In fact, the airline boasted the best passenger load factor among the country’s airlines in that quarter.
All these successes are happening while the airline finds itself as one of the victims of the 737 MAX grounding. With 13 delivered and 193 on order, this large investment towards expansion is doing nothing positive for the airline right now.
Chairman Ajay Singh said the following in an earnings call:
“The results would have been vastly better but for the painful grounding of the MAX aircraft. We look forward to their swift return to service in the near future…”
ZeeBusiness reports that SpiceJet currently operates 550 average daily flights to 62 destinations. Of these destinations, 52 are domestic and 10 are international.
According to Wikipedia, SpiceJet fleet consists of 51 Boeing 737-800s, seven 737-700s, and five 737-900s. The airline has also taken delivery of 13 737 MAX 8 aircraft with an astounding 193 yet to be delivered. ZeeBusiness reports that the airline also has 32 Bombardier Q-400s.
Riding this wave of success and expansion, SpiceJet is preparing for direct flights to the UK this winter. The airline has requested slots at London Heathrow and Manchester Airport as it eyes a share of the India-UK market. Slot requests have been filed to fly an A330-300, which is not part of the airline’s current inventory, raising speculation over where these aircraft will come from.
SpiceJet isn’t the only Indian airline to expand its network and international reach. In fact, Vistara has plans to fly to even more international destinations in the coming years. Following Vistara’s recent first flight to Singapore, the airline’s CEO noted that the airline would focus on Europe and Asia in its first phase of expansion plans. The following phase will focus on the United States and Australia.
We reached out to SpiceJet to see if they had anything to add in terms of comments or remarks. At the time of publishing, we have yet to hear back from the airline.