SpiceJet wings to UDAN

Ready to launch new routes under Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, SpiceJet will be expanding its wings internationally as well.

SpiceJet is all set to start flying on routes under Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MoCA) UDAN scheme in July, revealed Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet.

“The flights would start in July and we will be flying on DelhiKanpur, Delhi-Jalandhar, Mumbai-Porbandar and Mumbai-Kandla routes. We are looking to expand on that network,” he said. The second round of bids for UDAN are yet to be finalised and Singh said that they are unsure about the new routes that would come up. “I believe that the government will look for non-operational airports and offer them to airlines. Also, they are trying to connect existing operational airports. Thus, it is possible that such airports and connections will be offered in the second phase in addition to the criteria that was used last time,” Singh informed.

For new routes, new aircraft will be required, and SpiceJet has already prepared for the same. Singh shared, “We’ve placed an order of 155 firm aircraft and we have 50 options. Thus, we might look to convert some of those options and make them firm. We will also look at adding some of the smaller aircraft to that fleet. We have about 20 small aircraft currently, to which we might add more.” SpiceJet is on an expansion spree on international routes. Singh claimed that they will keep announcing new routes in the time to come. “Recently, we’ve added a flight to Dhaka, and a Delhi-Bangkok flight as well. We’ve added a TrivandrumMale flight and will keep adding more international routes,” he informed.

On GST, he only had positive words to say, but opined that there could be teething problems, which would be faced by the aviation sector as well. “I think the tax has been reduced, which is a good thing. From six per cent, it has come down to five per cent, but we are still in discussion on what are the heads under which those taxes will be charged and what is going to be retained by the airlines. Still, we are hoping that it’d be positive for the sector,” said Singh.

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