LONDON – The Indian government has allowed Indian carriers to wet-lease widebody aircraft for up to one year, as it continues the efforts to make India a key international hub for air traffic.
The Civil Aviation ministry has allowed Indian carriers to wet-lease widebody aircraft for a period of up to one year.
On Sunday, a senior ministry official said the rules have been relaxed and airlines wanting to lease and operate widebody aircraft will be permitted to do so.
Back in the middle of October, IndiGo was the first carrier to announce their plans of leasing a Boeing 777 fleet of four aircraft. According to the Financial Express in India, the idea of leasing was to meet the shortfall in capacity offerings.
On Sunday, IndiGo reportedly approached the ministry regarding the wet-lease, and received a communication conveying the ministry’s approval. This will effectively enable the carrier to wet-lease the aircraft for a period of six months with the possibility to be extended a further six months.
Finalizing the contracts after the ministry’s approval, officials of IndiGo stated: “We have plans for inducting B777 aircraft on wet/damp lease basis during the current winter schedule,”
A look at IndiGo’s initial announcement – What’s new?
As mentioned, IndiGo was the first carrier to announce their plans of leasing a Boeing 777 fleet of four aircraft.
When AviationSource covered the announcement, we mentioned that IndiGo has a codeshare partnership with Turkish Airlines, and since then, IndiGo has received permission to lease Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from the carrier, for up to six months.
On the initial announcement, IndiGo officials said: “As an interim measure, we have decided to take on wet lease certain aircraft to cover the shortfall for our scheduled international operations.”
“We have received in-principal approval from the regulators, and the induction of these aircraft remains subject to further requisite regulatory approvals”.
“We are committed to exploring every opportunity possible to overcome these capacity challenges and provide our customers with efficient and affordable air travel,”.
Clear increase in demand
Just two weeks ago, we reported IndiGo’s flight movement statistics exceeding 1,500 per week, meaning the carrier has been experiencing exponential growth over the last few months, with there potentially being too much demand for the carrier to handle.
In the data from Radarbox.com analysed by AviationSource, it’s shown that for the period of October 29-November 5, IndiGo handled 1,587 movements based on the seven-day rolling average provided by the flight tracking site.
This represents an increase of 10.9% compared to the same period last year. 2022’s figures are around 138 movements, better than the pre-pandemic numbers in 2019.
With the Civil Aviation Ministry’s approval, the final pieces of the puzzle are now being placed as the final contracts are in the works before the aircraft are “delivered”.
IndiGo are clearly readying up for major passenger increases, and the lease of these Boeing 777 aircraft will make sure to greatly increase capacity on the select flights, and will definitely be a comfortable and fun ride for the passengers onboard.