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FAA Max certification likely by year end or early 2020, says Ajay Singh of SpiceJet

Updated : November 20, 2019 05:40 PM IST

To expand its international portfolio, low-cost carrier SpiceJet has signed a memorandum of understanding with Bahrain-based Gulf Air to explore stronger ties, including an interline and codeshare agreement.

CNBC-TV18’s Anu Sharma caught up with Ajay Singh, Chairman and MD of SpiceJet, and Kresimir Kucko, CEO of Gulf Air, and discussed certification of Max planes.

Talking about the certification, Singh said: “We met the Boeing team in Dubai a few days back. They expect that the Max aircraft will be certified by the end of the year or beginning of next year. This will be FAA certification and DGCA would have to certify separately. So FAA certification will not enable the Mac aircraft to fly in India but we hope that other regulators, many of whom are already working concurrently with FAA, will recertify thereafter. Our expectation is that within a few weeks of the FAA certification, the other regulators including the DGCA will certify the aircraft and we hope that it will fly early next year.”

“SpiceJet certainly needs more capacity. Firstly, we need to replace a significant number of Next Genration aircraft and the market is growing. We were scheduled to add capacity, but the process has been put back a little because of the Max problems. So we will look to add capacity and talk with Boeing and Airbus, both on the narrow-body as well as on the wide-body operations,” he added.

Kucko said, “It is very realistic to expect that we will start the process very quickly. It normally takes 3-6 months to operationalise all this level of commercial cooperation.”
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