No-frills carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said it has entered into a “settlement” with a lessor of Boeing 737 Max planes — Avolon. The Gurugram-based airline, in a statement, said it hopes to see these MAX aircraft flying again soon. A senior official said, the aviation regulator DGCA is yet to take a final call on allowing 737 MAX planes to fly again.
In the wake of two fatal crashes involving MAX planes, these aircraft were grounded in 2019. Joining many other regulators worldwide, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded MAX aircraft in March 2019.
“SpiceJet has entered into a settlement with Avolon, a major lessor of Max aircraft, paving the way for the airline’s 737 Max aircraft to start to return to service,” the low-cost carrier said in the statement. SpiceJet, however, did not give details such as the nature of dispute it had with the lessor and the reasons that led to the “settlement”. Earlier this month, it was reported that DGCA is “examining” whether Boeing 737 Max planes should be allowed to fly again in the country and a decision on the same was expected in 2-3 months. Aviation regulators in the US and Europe have already approved the aircraft for flying with extensive fixes.
The airline, in the statement on Thursday, also said it expects to start operations of Max planes around the end of September 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.
“I am delighted to share that our 737 MAXs will be back in the air soon. As India emerges from COVID and air traffic picks up again, the MAX aircraft will play a major role in our future expansion. “With a better and a more efficient fleet back in operation we expect a significant reduction in our operating costs improving our bottom line,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.