Worried over inadequate capacity on foreign routes following suspension of Jet Airways’ operations, the Aviation Ministry would soon allot the unused traffic rights of the grounded airline to rival private airlines.
The ministry has received capacity expansion plans of all the four major private carriers IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Vistara to finalize allocation of rights to these airlines.
The four carriers together plan to add about 58 aircraft by July-end.
“Some of the foreign airlines are benefiting from Jet Airways’ suspension of operations. On many routes the fare level is high compared to last season. The ministry would now soon take a call on re-allocation of traffic rights,” an industry source said.
The executive said that IndiGo would add about 18 more planes to its current fleet of 232 by July-end. Its close rival SpiceJet would induct 20 more B737 aircraft in its current fleet of 102 jets in the next two months.
“Vistara and GoAir are expected to induct 10 each in the same period,” he said.
While Vistara currently has a fleet of 24 aircraft, Wadia group-owned carrier GoAir has a total fleet size of 50 A320 planes.
Most private carriers want traffic rights for lucrative short-haul destinations such as Dubai, Doha, Dhaka, Singapore and Bangkok.
Preferring Air India over the private carriers, the civil aviation ministry had last month decided to allot about 5,700 weekly seats to the airline out of grounded Jet Airways’ unused quota on the lucrative India-Dubai route.
The public sector airline was also given over 5,000 seats on India-Qatar route besides about 4,600 additional seats to and from London. But Air India’s pace of starting new flights has been slow, prompting the government to allot remaining unused rights to other carriers at the earliest.
This will ensure there is no capacity deficit on international routes in the winter flying season that starts from October.
(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])