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SpiceJet seeks planes from other sources to meet aircraft shortage after DGCA grounds 737 MAX fleet

SpiceJet Ltd said on Friday it was in talks will lessors globally to induct aircraft, in an effort to fill a gap after the grounding of its MAX fleet, said a Reuters report.

The airline was forced to ground its 12 Boeing Co 737 MAX 8 planes by India’s aviation watchdog due to safety concerns after an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash that killed 157 people earlier this month.

The low-cost carrier could also benefit from cash-strapped Jet Airways being forced to ground planes, and is in talks with lessors to lease some of those aircraft, a person with direct knowledge of the matter had told Reuters earlier this week.

 SpiceJet seeks planes from other sources to meet aircraft shortage after DGCA grounds 737 MAX fleet

Representational image. AFP

SpiceJet and Jet Airways are the only carriers in India that operate this type of aircraft and have a total of about 400 on order. The airlines also operate the previous model, the 737-800 among other Boeing planes.

The 737-800 makes up the majority of the Jet Airways fleet, and the airline is now operating only 41 aircraft, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said on Tuesday.

Early this month, all Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft being operated by Indian airlines had been grounded and around 35 flights of SpiceJet were cancelled consequently, said a PTI report quoting civil aviation secretary PS Kharola.

He said Thursday will be a "challenging" day as "out of 520 odd flights that SpiceJet flies every day, about 30-35 flights will have to be cancelled".

SpiceJet has been most affected by the grounding of 737 Max 8 aircraft as it has 12 of them in its fleet.

As the Ethiopian Airlines' 737 Max 8 crashed near Addis Ababa killing all 157 people onboard on Sunday, Indian aviation watchdog DGCA on 12 March announced that the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft would be "immediately" grounded.

After the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft models and subsequent cancellation of flights, SpiceJet had recently said that it would seek compensation from Boeing.

SpiceJet will seek compensation from Boeing and demand credit on maintenance, repair, and overhaul for the 12 grounded 737 MAX aircraft, said a report in Business Standard.

The Gurugram-based budget carrier was planning to add 15 more Boeing 737 MAX this year, the report said.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 22, 2019 17:58:24 IST