Will SpiceJet’s 737 MAX be back in the skies before the end of 2021?
SpiceJet expects to start flying the Boeing 737 MAX “soon”, it said, after reporting financial results for its fiscal second quarter.
The Indian carrier had planned to restart 737 MAX operations on October 5, 2021, but delayed the plans the day before, without providing a new date.
“The airline expects to start flying its MAX aircraft soon once all regulatory approvals have been received,” SpiceJet said in a November 12, 2021 press release accompanying the quarterly results.
The Indian aviation authority lifted the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX on August 26, 2021. SpiceJet has previously announced that it has reached settlements with two major lessors, Avolon and CDB Aviation, for the MAX.
Chairman Ajay Singh said the 737 MAX restart would come in the airline’s third quarter, which covers the October-December 2021 period.
“The return of the 737 MAX comes at the perfect time for us with passenger traffic picking-up and the government allowing airlines to operate at full capacity,” Singh commented. “We look forward to inducting additional capacity in the form of our 737 MAX aircraft that will upswing our operational efficiencies and provide significant cost saving capabilities.”
In the three months to September 30, 2021, SpiceJet reported a net loss of INR 561.7 crore ($75 million), compared to a loss of INR 112.6 crore ($13.6 million) a year ago. Total revenues rose to 1,539 crore ($207 million) from 1,293 crore ($173 million).
Despite the increased year-on-year losses, SpiceJet highlighted how the losses had been cut compared to the previous quarter. The airline cited a 7% increase in capacity and 53% increase in passenger revenue compared to the first quarter.
“We have made excellent progress in our recovery and I expect this trend to continue forward in the coming quarters,” Singh commented. “With the nationwide vaccination drive growing at an unprecedented pace across geographies, there is a significant jump in travel demand and we are very excited about the demand recovery.”
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