Aviation Top Stories

SpiceJet to fly at full capacity in winter, Go First flights to fall 40%

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has lifted the 50% flight cap on Ajay Singh-promoted SpiceJet for the winter schedule, allowing it to operate at its full capacity. The DGCA had directed the troubled carrier to operate at half its capacity during the summer schedule in July, following multiple technical snags reported on its flights.

Reports earlier this week stated that SpiceJet, a no-frills carrier, is inducting at least half a dozen Boeing 737 Max aircraft on wet lease. These narrow-body planes can be put to use on the domestic sector. SpiceJet already operates a number of 737s.

The DGCA announced the winter schedule for domestic airlines that will come into effect on October 30. The regulator has allowed airlines to operate 21,941 departures per week for 105 airports in this year’s winter schedule, compared to 22,287 allowed in last year’s winter schedule, a drop of 1.55%.

The DGCA has allowed airlines to operate 21,941 departures per week for 105 airports in this year’s winter schedule, compared to 22,287 allowed in last year’s winter schedule.

The fall is mainly on account of the suspension of scheduled operations of Trujet and Pawan Hans; without taking these into account, there is a growth of 0.58% this year against 21,813 flights per week of last year’s winter schedule. The schedule for this year was finalised after the slot conference held in September 2022.

In 2020, the DGCA had cleared a schedule for 12,983 flights per week, which was a decrease of 44% compared to 23,307 allowed in the winter of 2019.

Go First (founded as GoAir) has seen the biggest reduction of flights among its peers. The Mumbai-based airline has been allowed to conduct 1,390 departures in the winter schedule per week, a fall of nearly 40% compared to last year.

Market leader IndiGo has seen a reduction of nearly 2% to 10,085 departures per week, while Tata Group-controlled Air India’s flights have dropped by 3% to 1990 per week.

However, Vistara and SpiceJet have seen growth. Vistara is allowed 1,941 flights during the winter schedule, a growth of nearly 16% per week, while troubled carrier SpiceJet saw a growth of nearly 7% to 3,193 flights compared to last year.

New entrant Akasa Air will conduct 479 flights per week during the winter schedule. The Mumbai-based company is targeting 300 flights every week by October end.

Deoghar, Shimla and Rourkela are the new airports proposed by the scheduled airlines, the DGCA added. The winter schedule will remain effective till March 25, 2023. (Source FE)

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