Spicejet, Indigo bag half of Jet Airways’ slots allotted so far

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Published: May 15, 2019 2:13:14 AM

Low-cost carriers SpiceJet and IndiGo have bagged more than half of Jet Airways’ vacant slots alloted so far as the hope for the grounded airline’s revival diminishes with each passing day.

The ministry of civil aviation has granted 479 landing and take-off slots so far. Of these, SpiceJet got 130 and IndiGo was given 127 slots.The ministry of civil aviation has granted 479 landing and take-off slots so far. Of these, SpiceJet got 130 and IndiGo was given 127 slots.

Low-cost carriers SpiceJet and IndiGo have bagged more than half of Jet Airways’ vacant slots alloted so far as the hope for the grounded airline’s revival diminishes with each passing day.

The ministry of civil aviation has granted 479 landing and take-off slots so far out of 766 held by Jet across all airports. Of these 479 slots, SpiceJet got 130 while domestic market leader IndiGo was given permission to operate 127 slots.

While full-service carrier Vistara got 110 from Jet’s kitty, budget carriers GoAir and AirAsia were alloted 44 and 42 slots, respectively. National carrier Air India received a nod to operate 26 slots, including 2 to its regional subsidiary Alliance Air.

Jet mainly held slots at Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderbad and Nagpur airports. The airline announced a temporary suspension of all operations on April 17 due to financial crunch. Jet has recieved only one financial bid from Eithad Airways at the end of its sale process.

For SpiceJet, 68 out of 130 slots have come at Mumbai airport. According to the airline, it has added around 50 domestic and international flights connecting Mumbai since April 1. It has signed letters of intent to take and operate 28 planes belonging to Jet. While majority of new slots for IndiGo is in Delhi, Vistara’s landing and take-off spots are mainly in Mumbai. Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines’ joint venture also plans to add six Boeing 737 aircraft earlier operated by Jet.

Experts pointed out that SpiceJet is best placed amongst its peers to benefit from Jet’s grounding. “SpiceJet is taking the greatest advantage of slots vacated by Jet, particularly in Tier I cities such as Mumbai. While SpiceJet’s growth rate has converged up to the industry’s, we expect a significant portion of lost passengers as a result of Jet’s shutdown to flock to SpiceJet given the distribution of slots. This should cause growth at SpiceJet to return to 2–3x industry’s,” analysts at Edelweiss Securities noted.

Last week, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had sought a report from secretary Pradeep Kharola on the status of allocation of slots left vacant by Jet. Following the carrier’s grounding, the government had constituted a committee comprising DGCA, AAI, airports operators and airlines to distribute slots of Jet to other carriers on an interim period of three months.

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