Will SpiceJet’s 737 MAX be back in the skies before the end of 2021?

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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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