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    SpiceJet to induct more aircraft on a short-term lease due to delay in return of Boeing MAX

    SpiceJet to induct more aircraft on a short-term lease due to delay in return of Boeing MAX

    SpiceJet to induct more aircraft on a short-term lease due to delay in return of Boeing MAX
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    By Anu Sharma   IST (Published)

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    Boeing is set to provide additional information regarding the return of MAX during its quarterly financial disclosures next week.

    The delay in the return of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is "disappointing" and will mean induction of more aircraft on a short-term lease for SpiceJet, chairman and managing director Ajay Singh told CNBC-TV18.
    The reaction from the Indian customer of the grounded Boeing 737 MAX comes as the timeline for the return of MAX to service has been postponed to mid-2020 from early 2020.
    While SpiceJet is still expecting an early return hoping that the timeline of mid-2020 is "more cautionary than real", Boeing has cautioned its customers about "rigorous scrutiny" by regulators.
    "It (timeline) is subject to our ongoing attempts to address known schedule risks and further developments that may arise in connection with the certification process. It also accounts for the rigorous scrutiny that regulatory authorities are rightly applying at every step of their review of the 737 MAX's flight control system and the Joint Operations Evaluation Board process which determines pilot training requirements," Boeing said in a statement on January 21 after reports emerged of a discovery of a new flaw in the MAX.
    The fastest-selling aircraft of Boeing has been grounded worldwide since March 2019 after two fatal accidents occurred within a period of six months in B737 MAX due to a flaw in its flight control system.
    The grounding of MAX, which promised better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs, has put a financial strain on its customers as airlines implement alternative options by inducting aircraft on a short-term lease to continue expansion.
    In the case of SpiceJet, sources close to the development told CNBC-TV18 that the airline may look at inducting 5-6 planes on wet lease this month as the lease of a similar number of aircraft is set to expire. However, with the delay in the return of service of MAX, the number of aircraft needed from the lease market to fuel expansion is set to increase.
    SpiceJet is also yet to receive communication from Boeing with regard to the training of pilots on MAX simulators overseas but is almost certain that Boeing will bear the costs for the training, the sources added.
    Boeing is set to provide additional information regarding the return of MAX during its quarterly financial disclosures next week.
    SpiceJet also said that the postponement of MAX certification may also affect SpiceJet's plans regarding setting up an airline at Ras Al Khaimah.
    "We will start flights to Ras Al Khaimah soon...plan to operate an airline there (Ras Al Khaimah) will depend on return of MAX aircraft," Singh said.
    In November 2019, Singh had said that SpiceJet will set up an airline with an initial fleet of 4-5 aircraft at Ras Al Khaimah in a joint venture with a local partner.
    SpiceJet has a total order-book of 205 MAX aircraft, out of which 13 were inducted by March 2019. The total order-book consists of 155 firm orders and 50 options.
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