Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has signed a leasing contract with Czech Republic’s CSA Czech Airline for two A-319 aircraft. The first airbus has already been delivered, said a company spokesperson. “We are getting the aircraft to cater to additional demand,” the spokesperson said.
The second aircraft will be delivered in the coming weeks. Both the aircraft are wet leased, where the lessor takes care of the aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance. “Our newest wet-leased aircraft, an Airbus A-319, has already arrived. Lessor will provide crew, maintenance and insurance,” tweeted SpiceJet’s chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor on Tuesday.
With the wet lease contracts, SpiceJet will not have to bother about the crew and pilots, neither will it have to worry about the insurance and maintenance requirement. Experts say though airlines pay a little premium on wet-leased aircraft, it helps company to concentrate on other core operations like on-time-performance and customer experience.
SpiceJet is also in final stages of discussion with other lessor to which it had returned six planes earlier this year due to non-payment of rentals, a matter that also went to the court. Ajay Singh, the founder of SpiceJet, had earlier told FE that all dues have been settled with the lessors.
The SpiceJet spokesperson said, “We are talking to our lessors for three to four Boeing planes that we had returned earlier. There will be a new contract with these lessors,”. The spokesperson refused to comment on specifics like new rentals. Singh had said he is renegotiating all contracts, as it is important to bring down the operational cost of the airline. At present, SpiceJet’s fleet consists of 18 Boeing B737 aircraft, one A319 and 14 Bombardier Q400 aircraft. “By the year end, we aim to have 25 Boeings,” the spokesperson said.
SpiceJet operates 252 daily flights to 41 destinations that includes seven international cities but the airline is planning to increase frequency in the cities it already operates.
The airlines was in losses under previous owner Kalanithi Maran before it was finally sold to one of its original founders, Singh in December. In the quarter ending March 2015, the company posted its first quarter of profits after six straight quarters of losses. It reported net profits of Rs 22.5 crore.
According to reports, by March next year the company plans to have a fleet of 50 aircraft. It already has 33 aircraft.