By Nirbhay Kumar
New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Low-cost carrier Air Asia India has dropped its plan to lease B737 aircraft of grounded Jet Airways as the Tata group venture carrier wants to continue with one type of aircraft.
“Air Asia India had informed the aviation regulator about their plan to lease some of the B737 airplanes that were operated by Jet Airways. But later it did not follow up. Now, the idea has finally been dropped,” said an industry source.
He said the airline did not want to pursue the plan as induction of new type of fleet was seen adding complications given the different seat configuration, maintenance and skill requirement.
“In low-cost airline business, one-type of fleet is advisable,” the executive quoted above said.
Facing severe liquidity crunch, Jet Airways had stopped operations on April 17. In order to fill the capacity gap due to grounding of Jet Airways, the rivals SpiceJet and Vistara swung into action to take the crisis-hit airline’s narrow-body airplanes.
While SpiceJet is learnt to have inducted 20 of Jet’s grounded B737 planes, Vistara took 4.
The Bengaluru-headquartered Air Asia India also showed initial interest and applied to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for regulatory approval.
The airline is set to continue its expansion plan adding A320 airplanes. In the next 18 months, it plans to double its fleet size from current 21 A320 aircraft.
The budget carrier that started operations in June 12, 2014 currently has a market share of 6.2 per cent in the domestic market.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])