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There is a continuous increase in the number of passengers and Go First is grounded. This means that according to the demand, full facilities are not available at present. Apart from Indigo and Air India, other companies have made a big plan to bridge this gap. Airline companies are planning to add about 115 aircraft in the current financial year. Most of these aircraft will be of market leader IndiGo and Air India and SpiceJet and will be deployed on domestic routes only.
However, due to the closure of GoFirst, the capacity has been badly affected, due to which a huge gap is being seen between supply and demand. Airline officials say that fleet augmentation by other airlines will bridge the gap very soon. GoFirst, which had a 7 per cent market share till March, has not flown since May 3 and filed for insolvency.
Indigo will add so many planes
IndiGo, which has around 60 per cent share of India’s domestic market, will add around 50 aircraft by the end of FY24. Currently its fleet size is 304, senior airline officials said they have planned to have 350 aircraft by the end of FY2024. He said that if the supply of engines improves, then the additional capacity will increase further. Around 35 aircraft of the airline are grounded due to engine shortage.
A person familiar with IndiGo’s plans said the fleet will be a mix of the Airbus A320neo and the longer version of the A321neo. While IndiGo is looking to increase presence on international routes, in the short term the aircraft are likely to be deployed on domestic routes to take advantage of the space left by GoFirst. Due to the use of aircraft on the domestic route, the airline’s flights to Tashkent, Baku and Tbilisi may start after a few days.
Air India is also planning
On the other hand, Tata’s Air India is expected to add 21 Airbus A321 Neo aircraft by March 2024. The airline has taken delivery of four A321 Neos, which it plans to deploy from June. Low cost unit Air India Express, which will be formed from the merger of Air India Express and Air Asia India, will add around 50 Boeing 737 Max in this financial year.
After September, deliveries of the Boeing 737 Max will begin, of which 50 aircraft will be delivered in about six months as they are ready-made aircraft that were not taken by other airlines. By the end of FY2024, an Air India official said that Air India’s joint unit Express and Air Asia India will have 75 aircraft. Vistara, the second unit of the group, which will be merged with Air India by March 2024, will also add another 9 Airbus A320 aircraft.
SpiceJet is also preparing
SpiceJet is preparing to add 20 aircraft by the festive season through return of wet lease and grounded aircraft. A SpiceJet official said, ‘The wet lease agreement is being signed. By October we will be back with Phasewise significant capacity. Akasa, which currently has 19 aircraft, will add four more aircraft by the end of the financial year. However, Joshi of Network Thoughts said that the inclusion of new aircraft will see expansion in the international sector as well.