With Jet Airways grounded and its overseas flying rights and slots at domestic airport given out to rival carriers, the latter are swiftly adding new flights on international and domestic routes. While Air India on Wednesday announced more frequencies to Dubai, budget carrier SpiceJet introduced 20 new domestic flights. While the new Air India flights will start from next month, SpiceJet will start operations on new routes from the last week of the month.
National carrier Air India said it will add 3,500 more seats per week each on the Mumbai-Dubai and Delhi-Dubai sectors. There was a significant fall in international capacity after Jet’s groundings, prompting the government to award these routes.
Air India bagged the majority of Jet’s quota of international seats, while IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara also made gains in terms of new routes.
Jet was the largest scheduled operator in India accounting for 13.8% market share in international operations during FY18.
According to experts, fares on international routes are up 15-20% year-on-year due to Jet’s grounding. Apart from the Dubai sector, Air India has also introduced multiple new flights on the domestic network. Starting June 5, Air India will operate new flights between Bhopal-Pune and Chennai-Varanasi. It also announced more frequencies on the Delhi-Raipur, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Amritsar, Delhi-Vadodra, Chennai-Ahmedabad, Chennai-Kolkata and Mumbai-Vizag routes.
SpiceJet has been adding flights at a fast clip using Boeing 737 aircraft from Jet’s grounded fleet. It has announced 106 new flights so far which include 73 connecting Mumbai, 16 from Delhi and 8 flights between Mumbai and Delhi.
The Gurugram-based carrier on Wednesday said that it will add 20 new flights mainly from Mumbai. Jet held around 400 slots at Delhi and Mumbai airports, which have been allotted to rival carriers till July. Till now 60% of Jet’s 766 slots at all airports have been re-allocated.
Since the grounding of operations by Jet on April 17, Indian carriers have announced close to 200 new flights in the domestic sector. Jet operated over 600 daily flights during this period last year.
While IndiGo and GoAir have added around 30 new flights each, Tata group joint venture companies, Vistara and AirAsia India, added 20 and 5 flights, respectively.