As India resumes air travel with various nations, IndiGo and SpiceJet, in a first, are leasing long-haul planes on a wet lease to launch flights to the UK and Europe. While SpiceJet has already leased one Airbus 330 aircraft from Oman Air to launch flights to London from July 27, IndiGo is in discussions to lease three Airbus 330s for such flights. IndiGo, according to sources, has not yet finalised on destinations but may look at flying to London and Paris both.
“SpiceJet would also use Oman Air’s slot available at Heathrow to launch this flight. They are also looking at leasing three more for such flights. IndiGo, on the other hand, is looking to wet-lease three aircraft to launch these flights,” said a person in the know, who did not want to be identified. It will be the first time these airlines fly such long-haul routes, and learning from these shortterm flights could be utilised in the future to launch their own long-haul flights.
Making Indian airlines fly long-haul international has been a consistent endeavour of the aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who has always maintained that Indian airlines should fly directly to these destinations and take away traffic from international carriers that fly passengers through various hubs.