SpiceJet will be able to have a total MAX fleet of around 35 planes once the regulators recertify the grounded aircraft, people aware of the development said.
"We have 13 MAX which have already been inducted. There are 4 MAX of Jet Airways which we have acquired. We expect to receive another 17-18 MAX once the aircraft is allowed to fly. So, we will have 34-35 MAX aircraft once regulators give a green signal," a person close to the development said.
The airline expects the US aviation regulator FAA to certify MAX by the end of 2019 or early 2020. However, other regulators may take a few weeks more to provide permissions in their geographies.
The more important issue is about the training of pilots. One MAX aircraft will need about 10 pilots and hence, the airline is exploring options of training via video-conferencing to make the process smoother and faster.
"Either we train the trainer or use video-conferencing or send pilots to Singapore SIM... all this needs to be decided once FAA gives its approval to the plane but getting a large number of MAX pilots ready for operations in a short span of time will be a challenge," another person said.
SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh on Wednesday called MAX one of the safest aircraft in the world as it has been inspected so much since its grounding in March after two fatal accidents involving the same aircraft type.