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Aviation

SpiceJet wants to start cargo, passenger flights to US as soon as possible

December 7, 2020: The Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet on November 25, 2020, has submitted an application for foreign air carrier permit before the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to start scheduled commercial flights carrying passengers and cargo between the two countries as soon as possible.

SpiceJet wants to start cargo, passenger flights to US as soon as possible
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December 7, 2020: The Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet on November 25, 2020, has submitted an application for foreign air carrier permit before the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to start scheduled commercial flights carrying passengers and cargo between the two countries as soon as possible.

“SpiceJet applies for a foreign air carrier permit as envisaged by the terms of the air transport agreement between the government of the United States of America and the government of India, signed on January 15, 2005,” reads the submission.

In July 2020, the government of India had given SpiceJet its permission to go ahead with its plan to start the US operations.

The airline plans to start operating charters carrying Covid-19 PPE cargo, and repatriation passengers between Delhi and New York JFK International Airport, thus contributing to the ongoing relief operations.

“With the demise of Jet Airways, Air India is the only Indian carrier to ply routes to the United States where it serves Chicago O'Hare, New York JFK, New York Newark, San Francisco, CA, and Washington Dulles from Delhi. From Mumbai Int'l, it serves Newark,” reports ch-aviation.

Aircraft for US operations
For its proposed US operations, SpiceJet is planning to operate Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 cargo and Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft. The airline also noted that it may expand its fleet of aircraft used for the US operations in the near future, including wet leases.

SpiceJet currently operates 111 aircraft, including 4 Boeing 737-900 ER,1 Boeing 737-900, 13 Boeing 737 Max 8, 49 Boeing 737-800, 7 Boeing 737-700, Boeing 737-700 freighter, 2 Boeing 737-800 freighter and 32 Q400, 3 type aircraft.

For its proposed US operations, SpiceJet is planning to operate Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 cargo and Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft.

However, both the 737-800 and 737-700 are incapable to operate direct 5,700 kilometres from India to the US.

“From Delhi, the aircraft would need to make a stop in the Middle East or Turkey. From there, the airline would likely make a stop somewhere in Europe. Shannon (SNN)in Ireland is a good pick, with plenty of capacity and about as far west as you can go without leaving the continent. From Shannon, SpiceJet could probably make the trip to JFK if the plane was lightly loaded or empty. However, we’d bank on it making one more stop on the route. Iceland is a likely candidate (KEF), or perhaps it would aim to cross the Atlantic in one go, stopping in Newfoundland (possibly Gander?) on the way,” reports Simple Flying.

International operations
During the Covid-19 pandemic, SpiceJet has grown from a carrier that had no international operations to a cargo network with 50 international destinations by operating relief flights to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China.

SpiceJet operated its first-ever long-haul cargo flight in August 2020, from Amsterdam to Mumbai using its newly-inducted wide-body Airbus A340 aircraft. In the same month, the airline operated its first flight to Frankfurt from Delhi as well using the same aircraft.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet in October 2020 announced its plan to start operating scheduled passenger services to London from Mumbai and Delhi. However, SpiceJet has postponed the services due to its awaiting ACC3 validation. Air Cargo or Mail Carrier operating into the Union from a Third Country Airport (ACC3) is a designation required for non-EU carriers to fly cargo into or through the European Union. The air carrier needs to submit its air cargo or mail security program in non-EU countries to an EU aviation security independent validator.

Libin Chacko Kurian

Libin Chacko Kurian

Principal Correspondent at STAT Media Group, he has six years of experience in business journalism covering food & beverage, nutraceuticals and now logistics. His current passion is to understand the nuances of global supply chains and their current turmoil. Outside work, he is also interested in philosophy, history, birding and travelling. Mail him: libin@statmediagroup.com Follow on LinkedIn


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