The decision was taken by AirAsia India as having a new type of aircraft meant additional complications with respect to different seat configuration, maintenance and skill requirement.
Budget airline AirAsia India won’t be leasing B737 aircraft of beleaguered carrier Jet Airways as it will be continuing with only a single aircraft type. The airline — a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysia’s AirAsia Berhad — had shown initial interest and even applied to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for regulatory approval.
AirAsia India had “informed the aviation regulator about their plan to lease some of the B737 airplanes that were operated by Jet Airways. But later it did not follow up. Now, the idea has finally been dropped,” IANS reported citing an industry source.
The decision was taken by AirAsia India as having a new type of aircraft meant additional complications with respect to different seat configuration, maintenance and skill requirement, the source said.
Single-fleet type is advisable in the low-cost airline business, the executive quoted above said.
SpiceJet and Vistara were learnt to have inducted 20 and 4 of Jet Airways’ grounded B737 planes respectively to fill the capacity gap that occurred after Jet grounded operations on April 17 due to cash crunch.
AirAsia India will be adding Airbus A320-200 aircraft for further expansion even as it looks to double its fleet size from existing 21 A320 planes in coming 18 months. It has a domestic market share of 6.2 per cent as of now.
The airline is looking to launch international operations by the end of this year, Sunil Bhaskaran, MD and CEO, told FE on the sidelines of a recently held aviation summit early this year.
Following Jet Airways ceasing operations, rival carriers Air India, SpiceJet, GoAir, Vistara are adding new flights on international and domestic routes, Financial Express reported. Air India recently announced more flights to Dubai, while SpiceJet introduced 20 new domestic flights. IndiGo and GoAir have added around 30 new flights each.
Indian airlines have announced nearly 200 new flights in the domestic market since Jet’s grounding on April 17.