All Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft belonging to Indian airlines have been grounded and thus, around 35 SpiceJet flights stand cancelled today (14 March), Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola has stated, reports The Tribune.
Kharola remarked that it would be a ‘challenging’ day today considering that of some 520 flights SpiceJet operates on a regular day, close to 30-35 would need to be cancelled.
SpiceJet is the Indian airline that has faced the worst consequences of the grounding of 737 Max 8, as it has 12 of them in its fleet.
Jet Airways has not faced any major issues since the five 737 Max 8 aircraft it has are already grounded due to the company not being able to pay lessors of the aircraft.
Following the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 on Sunday (10 March) in which 157 people died, the Indian aviation regulatory authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced on Tuesday (12 March) that there would be an immediate grounding of all 737 Max 8 aircraft in India. This is in line with suspensions placed in major countries across the world on the aircraft.
The problems with the 737 Max 8 don’t end here for SpiceJet; not only does the model comprise a sizeable chunk of their fleet, but it also has 192 more units of the aircraft on order. Rapidly inducting large numbers of 737 Max 8 aircraft into its fleet was central to SpiceJet’s expansion strategy. Now the future of this grand plan could also be under jeopardy.
According to a Business Standard report, the airline has already stated that it will seek compensation from Boeing for expenses relating to the grounding of its aircraft which are sure to hurt its bottom line.
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