SpiceJet receives a slot at London’s Heathrow Airport
SpiceJet has become India’s only low-cost carrier to receive slots at London’s Heathrow Airport. Heathrow is not only the largest and the busiest airport in all of UK and Europe, but it’s also considered to be one of the busiest airports in the world.
SpiceJet becomes the 4th airline that will operate direct flights between London and India. Currently, Air India, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways are the other carriers that operate direct flights between UK and India.
As things stand, India has currently banned all commercial flights until the 31st of August. Only repatriation flights have been allowed to commence operations. So come September 1st, SpiceJet, along with these other airlines are expected to resume commercial operations. SpiceJet is expected to have at least one direct flight everyday. Currently the locations SpiceJet will operate from in India are unclear.
SpiecJet’s existing fleet only consists of Boeing 737 and De Havilland Canada DHC-8 aircrafts. These are not suitable for direct flights to Europe. SpiceJet, however, recently leased an Airbus A330-900neo from HI-Fly for a repatriation flight to bring Indians back from Amsterdam last week. There is a possibility that the airline will commence their UK operations by leasing this aircraft at least in the initial stages.
While 1st September is touted to be the likely date for SpiceJet’s India – UK flights to begin, the COVID-19 onslaught, and the ban by the centre on operating international flights for commercial reasons from and to India, means that it is not entirely clear when you can start flying on this route with SpiceJet.