Terming the temporary grounding of Jet Airways as ‘sad’ for the Indian aviation sector, SpiceJet’s chairman and managing director (CMD) Ajay Singh said that the airline hired about 1,000 employees of the cash-strapped airline. SpiceJet was happy to provide jobs to Jet Airways’ employees, he said, besides reducing inconvenience to flyers, according to a media report.
Talking to ET Now, Singh said SpiceJet, the second largest airline in the country, recently added five aircraft to its fleet and would add around 40 more planes in the next few weeks.
Last week, SpiceJet had announced it had absorbed over 500 employees, including 100 pilots of Jet Airways and was open to inducting more as it added more aircraft and routes in the future.
Ajay Singh in a statement said his carrier is giving “first preference” to Jet Airways staff in its recruitment.
“As we expand and grow, we are giving first preference to those who have recently lost their jobs due to the unfortunate closure of Jet Airways,” Singh said.
The Gurugram-based no-frills airline has already announced induction of 27 more planes—22 Boeing 737s and five turboprop Bombardier Q400s—in the fleet to help overcome to an extent the capacity deficit due to Jet Airways temporarily withdrawing its domestic and international services on 17 April.
On Tuesday, SpiceJet said it would start 28 daily flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi with other cities on its domestic network from 26 April, said a PTI report.
After the grounding Jet Airways’ planes, government authorities are in the process of allocating airport slots vacated by the full-service carrier to other airlines, including SpiceJet, amid efforts to increase capacity to meet peak season traffic.
SpiceJet said the new flights from Mumbai are on the Mumbai-Jaipur-Mumbai, Mumbai-Amritsar-Mumbai, Mumbai-Mangalore-Mumbai and Mumbai-Coimbatore-Mumbai sectors.
Moreover, the budget carrier has also enhanced operations with additional frequencies on the routes of Mumbai-Patna-Mumbai, Mumbai-Hyderabad-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kolkata-Mumbai.
On Monday, SpiceJet said it inked an initial pact with Gulf-based Emirates for code-share partnership, a move that will give wider connectivity to its passengers on the latter’s network across the US, Europe, Africa and Middle East, said a PTI report.
In turn, Emirates’ passengers will enjoy unhindered access to SpiceJet’s 51 domestic destinations — 10 through direct connectivity and rest 41 through connecting flights, the airline said in a release.
SpiceJet’s first code-share partnership with Emirates, which is subject to regulatory approvals, assumes significance in the back drop of the temporary grounding of domestic carrier Jet Airways, which has investment from Emirates’ rival carrier Etihad.