Indian budget carrier SpiceJet will add five more Bombardier Q400s to its fleet by June to cover some of the capacity lost in the market due to the collapse of Jet Airways.
Three of the turboprops are due to arrive within the next two weeks, with the final two expected by June.
SpiceJet announced the additional Q400s less than a week after it said it would lease 16 additional Boeing 737NGs that will help cover the capacity lost from the grounding of its 13 737 MAX 8s.
Although he did not name Jet Airways specifically, SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh indicated that the additional capacity will help fill the gaps on regional routes lost by the downsizing of the full-service carrier.
“The sudden reduction in aviation capacity should in no way hamper air connectivity to the smaller towns and cities of India and as the country’s largest regional operator, SpiceJet will make all possible efforts in this direction,” he said.
SpiceJet moved quickly to capitalise on the loss of the Jet’s capacity from Mumbai, with plans to launch a host of new international and domestic routes from the city in the coming weeks.
These include services to Riyadh, Dammam Colombo, Hong Kong and Kathmandu which will begin in late May early June.
Market leader IndiGo has also indicated that it plans to increase flights on domestic routes from Mumbai.