For the first time in its operational history, India’s largest airline, IndiGo, will operate wide-body aircraft. Reports have surfaced that the low-cost airline will lease the biggest jets for the winter schedule to maintain international operations amid a shortage of active planes. Those familiar with the matter said the planes would come from none other than IndiGo’s codeshare partner Turkish Airlines.
IndiGo will soon fly Boeing 777s
If you’re planning to fly IndiGo internationally in the next few months, don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a jumbo jet. The airline plans to wet lease up to three Boeing 777 aircraft for high-capacity international routes.
IndiGo, which operates all-economy aircraft, will have the ability to offer business class seating to passengers on select routes for the first time with these dual-aisle aircraft.
However, the carrier already operates a strong fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft and doesn’t even fly long-haul international flights to justify big jets. So what prompted IndiGo to wet lease these 777s?
Supply chain issues have grounded planes
The decision to wet lease the larger jets is an interim measure to maintain international operations. IndiGo is suffering from a capacity crisis as several of its planes are grounded due to a lack of spare parts. Engine makers fell behind due to a global supply chain issue, and several airlines, including IndiGo, were the first victims.
Several IndiGo jets are grounded for lack of spare parts. Photo: Getty Images
With a wet lease, IndiGo will also be provided with aircraft crew and is likely to have increased operational costs. However, it is essential to maintain operations to avoid losing market share and key niches for certain destinations. It will be a makeshift arrangement until IndiGo sorts out its fleet issues. Even India’s aviation regulator, DGCA, allows wet lease of aircraft for up to a maximum of six months.
The airline released a statement explaining the situation and added,
“…as the aviation industry globally continues to face significant supply chain disruptions, the airline has explored a host of solutions to enable us to continue operations smoothly and to provide its customers with efficient and affordable travel.”
“As an interim measure, we have decided to wet lease some aircraft to cover the shortfall for our regular international operations. We have received approval in principle from regulators for the same and the induction of these aircraft remains subject to other required regulatory approvalsâ
Planes would come from Turkish Airlines
People with knowledge of the matter said IndiGo would receive the 777s from its codeshare partner, Turkish Airlines. In fact, it is likely that IndiGo will deploy these aircraft primarily for flights from Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM) to Istanbul (IST).
Turkish Airlines would supply the 777s to IndiGo. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Single flight.
Earlier this year, IndiGo and Turkish Airlines resumed their codeshare agreement, first announced in 2018. IndiGo already flies to Istanbul from Delhi and will launch daily service to the city from Mumbai on January 1, 2023.
The carrier already has a dominant presence in the Indian domestic sector and is looking to grow and maintain its international presence, particularly with renewed planning by Air India to expand its global reach with its own extensive network and plans to expand. fleet expansion.
What do you think of IndiGo’s decision to wet lease jumbo jets? Please leave a comment below.
Source: The economic period