New Delhi: Budget passenger carrier SpiceJet plans to aggressively expand its international networks to fly out of the low fare and high fuel price operating environment.
According to SpiceJet’s CMD Ajay Singh, the airline plans to aggressively deploy its new 737Max aircraft on international medium-haul routes. The airline is prospecting destinations in China and CIS countries.
Speaking exclusively to IANS here, Singh said, “More new destinations will be announced soon. We are looking at destinations in China and the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States).”
“We are getting the 737Max aircraft which is 14 per cent more fuel efficient. It can fly 20 per cent more than other planes. This will help us in adding a few more international destinations; we will decide on them after a market study is completed,” he said adding that destinations like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur are also under the radar.
Last month, the airline announced the introduction of a daily direct flight on Kozhikode-Jeddah-Kozhikode sector from April. Before that it had announced a Hyderabad-Jeddah connection effective from March 25, 2019.
Currently, SpiceJet operates to eight international destinations.
Besides overseas destinations, the regional sector is another area, where the airline is expanding aggressively.
Recently, it announced 10 new flights under the regional connectivity – UDAN – scheme. It is going to places like Jharsuguda in Odisha, Gwalior and will operate Bhopal-Udaipur flight.
At present, SpiceJet operates 23 flights under the regional connectivity – UDAN — scheme.
“There has been absolutely terrific growth on the UDAN routes. We have seen that people want to fly to these airports and the demand is only going to get stronger in the years to come,” Singh said.
“By March-end we will be operating close to 40 daily flights under UDAN.”
In the Udan phase-III, the airline has won routes to operate sea plane operations.
The airline in Udan International has been awarded the route to operate Guwahati to Bangkok and Dhaka with the Assam state government providing a viability gap funding of Rs 11 crore annually
On the aircraft delivery schedule, Singh said that the airline has ordered 205 planes and they will be delivered in the next four to five years.
“We have already funded all the planes that will be delivered to us by 2020,” he said.