According to a senior official, the civil aviation ministry has given the nation’s largest airline, IndiGo, permission to wet lease up to two aircraft in order to operate flights to the United States and Canada. IndiGo is focused on internationalization.
In February, IndiGo launched the wide-body Boeing 777 service between Delhi and Istanbul for the first time. Turkish Airlines’ wet-lease agreement for the aircraft has been signed.
Two aircraft that can be used on this route have been approved for wet leasing by the airline’s ministry.
On Friday, the ministry approved IndiGo’s request to wet lease up to two wide-body aircraft, which may be used for flights to the US and Canada, the official said on condition of anonymity.
On this matter, Indigo did not respond to inquiries.
It was not immediately clear if IndiGo has made decisions on running flights to the US and Canada.
To wet lease aircraft, Indian airlines must have ministry clearance.
Wet leasing refers to the practice of leasing aircraft with the engineers and flight crew on board. Typically, wet leasing of aircraft is permitted for brief durations in order to address supply issues and prevent a major increase in airfares.
The airline has always maintained the possibility of using wide-body planes openly, according to IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers, who spoke with PTI in an interview last month. But he did not provide any further information.
“No alternative has ever been disregarded by IndiGo. A sizable order book exists for us. We are receiving deliveries at a constant pace, and we have over 500 aircraft on order. That portion will receive our attention and effort. We have the XLRs order, which will increase IndiGo’s operational range,” “he had declared.
However, IndiGo, in a statement, said the airline is continually in contact with the manufacturers as “we prepare our next phase of expansion,” amid speculations that it is planning to put in a big order for planes.
“At this point, however, nothing has been resolved. We don’t respond to rumors and will update you as soon as we receive new information. “Friday’s statement from the spokesman was released.
As of last month, 500 aircraft might have been ordered by IndiGo, according to aviation consultant CAPA.
Prior to COVID-19, IndiGo had intended to place a sizable order of about 300 aircraft, but the pandemic forced it to be postponed. It had stated that this was now likely to move forward and may even be larger than originally planned, expanding to about 500 aircraft.
More than 300 aircraft make up IndiGo’s fleet at the moment.
The application with Turkish Airlines is part of IndiGo’s codeshare growth to provide access to a larger network, the airline said in a separate statement on Friday.
The airline and Turkish Airlines have applied for permission from the US government to codeshare flights to the US.
The airline issued a statement saying, “We are continually looking for options to meet consumer demand for air travel to new areas.
When an airline uses codesharing, it may seamlessly arrange travel for its customers on the aircraft of its partner carriers.