MIAMI – SpiceJet (SG) is set to become the first low-cost carrier in India to operate an Airbus A330-900 twin isle wide-body aircraft. The type will service medium and long-haul flights.
The airline has wet-leased the A330 from Portuguese charter Hi fly. The first flight of the A330 will be a repatriation flight from Amsterdam (AMS) to Bengaluru on August 1.
The Airbus A330-900 currently seats 371 passengers. The cabin configuration is comprised of 18 Business and 353 Economy. The aircraft’s maximum range is 17.500 km.
Comments from SpiceJet
SpiceJet officials state that “This A330-900 can do India-US nonstop. We plan to utilize it initially for charters to wherever the demand is for.”
The airline also said it may operate the aircraft for scheduled flights under the travel bubbles India is forming with some countries but did state that “That is an opinion.”
For now, SG will use the type for charters booked by any organization or NGO.
Last week, SG was designated as a scheduled Indian carrier to service routes to the US and UK. According to timesofindia.indiatimes.com, the carrier is still reportedly trying to get slots for Longdon Heathrow (LHR).
Medium to Long-haul Competition
Currently, Air India (AI) is the only airline in the country operating widebody aircraft. However, SG’s move is understandable for another reason.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, travelers are most likely to prefer direct medium to long-haul flights instead of those with one-stops at hubs in the Gulf or Southeast Asia.
Apart from SG, low-cost carrier IndiGo (SG) was also looking to wet-lease the A330 to fly to the UK. SG is was the first to start such flights, though, reportedly leasing one Oman Air (WY) A330 along with its London Heathrow (LHR) slot.
Now we have confirmation that the A330 lease is indeed from Hi Fly.
About Hi Fly
Hi Fly is a leading widebody aircraft wet lease specialist, operating worldwide. Hi Fly’s wet-lease offer includes Crew, maintenance, and third party insurance.
According to Hi Fly’s website, the company can deploy the aircraft with very short notice (as little as three hours) to cover short or medium-term transportation needs.
SpiceJet will pay all direct operating costs, such as fuel, catering, airport fees, handling, and navigation fees directly to the service providers.