India’s largest airline, IndiGo, has reportedly received approval from the nation’s civil aviation ministry to wet lease up to two aircraft for operations in the United States and Canada. The move is in line with the airline’s focus on international expansion.
A senior official confirmed the development, stating that the ministry has granted the airline permission to wet-lease two wide-body aircraft for flights to the US and Canada.
Wet leasing involves leasing planes along with the operating crew and engineers for short periods to tackle supply constraints and prevent a surge in airfares.
What is a wet lease of Aircraft?
Wet leasing is an aircraft lease agreement where the lessor provides an aircraft with crew and maintenance services to the lessee for a short period. It allows airlines to quickly increase capacity without investing in new aircraft or staff.
IndiGo’s Plans for the US and Canada are Still Unclear
It remains unclear whether IndiGo has firm plans to operate flights to the US and Canada. The airline had previously used a Boeing 777 on the Delhi-Istanbul route in February, which it had leased from Turkish Airlines under a wet lease arrangement.
It is worth mentioning here that Indian carriers require ministry approval to wet lease aircraft, and IndiGo is yet to comment on its plans.
IndiGo Constantly Exploring Opportunities for Expansion
In a statement, IndiGo said it is “constantly exploring opportunities” to meet customer demand for air travel to new destinations. The airline is also reportedly in talks with manufacturers as it plans its next phase of growth.
Last month, aviation consultancy CAPA suggested that IndiGo could place orders for up to 500 aircraft, adding that the airline had planned to place a significant order of around 300 aircraft before the pandemic but had deferred it due to COVID-19.
IndiGo Expanding Codeshare with Turkish Airlines
IndiGo has also applied for codeshare expansion with Turkish Airlines, with the two airlines seeking approval from US authorities for codeshare flights to the US.
The codeshare arrangement will allow IndiGo to book its passengers on Turkish Airlines flights and provide seamless travel to destinations without presence. Currently, IndiGo has over 300 aircraft in its fleet.
(Source: PTI News)
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