SpiceJet to add 3 planes, flights to NE

DELHI/ MUMBAI:  SpiceJet will add three Bombardier Q400 aircraft to expand regional services, starting in October, to the northeast and elsewhere.

The airline has 14 Q400 aircraft in service from its original order. It is the first such addition, reports Business Standard.

Sources indicate the new aircraft will be based in Kolkata and used on existing and new routes in the northeast. The airline is planning a new Kolkata-Dhaka and Kolkata-Silchar service. At present, it only flies to Guwahati and Agartala.

At present, SpiceJet operates nearly 300 daily flights and around 120 of these are operated with Q400 aircraft from Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru. The number of daily flights is likely to increase by a fifth after induction of the new aircraft.

“There is a new civil aviation policy which focuses a lot on regional connectivity. We are the largest regional player in the market and are looking at taking advantage of the leadership position in the space. We are exploring new sectors and destinations in various parts, including the northeast,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said in an e-mailed response.

The airline inducted its first Q400 aircraft in 2011, when under Sun Television chairman Kalanithi Maran’s control. Originally, it had placed a firm order for 15 aircraft, with an option for 15 more. It took delivery of the former but did not exercise the latter option. SpiceJet founder-promoter Ajay Singh again took charge of the airline last year.


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