By James Mathew
SpiceJet has been able to attract heavy traffic in its Ahmadabad-Muscat sector, thanks to the sizeable business and Indian expat travellers from the state travelling to Oman
Close on the heels of Indian low cost carrier IndiGo announcing direct flights to Abu Dhabi from Kochi and Calicut in Kerala, plans are afoot by another Indian low cost carrier SpiceJet to introduce new direct flight to Muscat from a new destination in India.
SpiceJet currently operate its service to Muscat from Ahmadabad airport in Gujarat.
Though the plan to introduce the new direct flight to Muscat is still in the finalisation stage, sources in the airline said it could be from one of the airports in southern India.
“We will be adding Hong Kong to our international destinations with our first direct flight in the Delhi-Hong Kong route commencing from next month. Next in line could be an expansion in our services to Muscat with a new direct flight from another location in India, most likely from one of the southern states,” a senior SpiceJet executive, told Arabian Business.
The SpiceJet executive, who did not want to be identified, however, said the airline is yet to finalise its plan on the additional flight to Muscat as it has to still resolve some of the issues related to it.
SpiceJet has been able to attract heavy traffic in its Ahmadabad-Muscat sector, thanks to the sizeable business and Indian expat travellers from the state travelling to Oman frequently.
How soon SpiceJet be able to commence its planned expansion to Muscat will depend on how fast the airline gets delivery of its new planes from Boeing, as also its success in managing additional bilateral rights to operate to the Middle East destination.
The low cost airline has to manage additional bilateral flight rights to operate new services to the Middle East region as it has already exhausted its available bilateral rights, according to the SpiceJet executive.
SpiceJet’s plans for a major expansion in its operations, especially in the international sector, follow the delivery of the new series of aircrafts from Boeing, which will enable it to operate long-haul routes.
SpiceJet, which took delivery of the first new aircraft – Boeing 737 MAX 8, has inducted it into its fleet last Friday.
The low cost Indian airline signed a $22 billion deal in 2017 with Boeing Company for up to 205 new aircrafts and is expected to take delivery of at least one aircraft a month from now onwards.
The new state-of-the-art aircraft are equipped with Satcoms which can offer internet services on board once the regulatory and Government approvals are in place, SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh has told media persons on Friday at the time of unveiling the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.
SpiceJet’s new jet has 40 percent less noise footprint, translating into a quieter and silent cabin. The aircraft’s nitrogen emission will also be 50 percent less compared to the airline’s current fleet.
According to airline and travel industry sources, the India-UAE sector is witnessing a healthy growth in passenger traffic, leading to Indian carriers vying with each other to expand its operations by introducing flights from additional airports from India, other than from where they currently operate.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.