SpiceJet files to US-DoT for US-India cargo/passenger operations with 737 aircraft

The world of aviation is always amusing to me for the possibilities it presents, and surprises it offers as well. A few months ago, SpiceJet was approved for US operations as a designated carrier. And then we heard nothing of it, till today.

SpiceJet has moved for a US Air Carrier Permit to the US Department of Transport. SpiceJet, in its application, argues it wants to operate cargo and repatriation flights to India and use these flights to bring home PPE from the USA. Here are specific excerpts:

SpiceJet requests expedited processing of this application to allow it to begin the proposed services as soon as possible. Specifically, SpiceJet plans to start operating charters carrying COVID19 PPE cargo, and repatriation passengers between Delhi, India and New York JFK International Airport as soon as possible, thus contributing to the ongoing relief operations to combat the COVID 19 pandemic. Subject to appropriate authorizations, it may start operations of charter flights through a wet lease arrangement at the outset and then transition to its own fleet thereafter. The authority sought herein will result in increased air transportation choices, greater service options, and enhanced competition, thereby benefiting consumers in both the United States and India.

All cool. We know SpiceJet’s model of using the HiFly aircraft charters to fly to the USA very well at this point. They were going to start regular BOM/DEL-LHR flights using HiFly, but they postponed those for the time being.

Now, SpiceJet details its service proposal to the US DoT

SpiceJet plans to start operating charters carrying COVID19 PPE cargo, and repatriation passengers between Delhi, India and New York JFK International Airport as soon as possible, thus contributing to the ongoing relief operations to combat the COVID 19 pandemic. It will further develop its cargo and passenger services once the Covid 19 epidemic subsides. SpiceJet may further expand the proposed services and use other aircraft in the future.

It goes on to state,

For its proposed U.S. operations, SpiceJet is planning to operate Boeing 737-700 and Boeing 737-800 cargo and Boeing 737-800 passenger aircraft, as listed below. SpiceJet is the current sole operator of the listed aircraft.

The amusing part here is, SpiceJet has filed for passenger charter and cargo operations from the USA to India using these Boeing 737 cargo freighters and passenger flights. They have accounted for this situation in their application, however,

Consistent with rights available to carriers of both parties to the U.S.- India Air Transport Agreement, applies for exemption authority and a foreign air carrier permit to conduct foreign scheduled and charter air transportation of persons, property, and mail as envisaged by the terms of the Air Transport Agreement Between The Government Of The United States Of America And The Government Of India, signed on January 15, 2005 (the “U.S.- India Open Skies Agreement”), as well as the Memorandum of Consultations thereto. Specifically, SpiceJet seeks authority to operate scheduled air transportation of persons, property, and mail between points on the following routes: (1) from points behind India via India and intermediate points to a point or points in the United States and beyond; and (2) for all-cargo service or services, between the United States and any point or points. SpiceJet 5 further seeks authority to operate charter air transportation of persons, property, and mail carrying international charter traffic of passengers (and their accompanying baggage) and/or cargo (including, but not limited to, freight forwarder, split, and combination (passenger/cargo) charters) between any point or points in the territory of the Party that has designated the airline and any point or points in the territory of the other Party; and between any point or points in the territory of the other Party and any point or points in a third country or countries, provided that, except with respect to cargo charters, such service constitutes part of a continuous operation, with or without a change of aircraft, that includes service to the homeland for the purpose of carrying local traffic between the homeland and the territory of the other Party.

I suppose this is a filing that has been made to secure the permission to operate to the USA, and once that comes through, SpiceJet will use the HiFly jets to operate flights one-stop via Europe to New York JFK. For the cargo flights, I am not sure how will they do hopper flights to the USA with their 737s, but maybe, that as well, is just a holding pattern request to get things going.

Bottomline

SpiceJet has applied for a foreign carrier permit to the USA to launch cargo and passenger repatriation flights from the USA. This application carries the details of their SpiceExpress and SpiceJet passenger planes (Boeing 737 aircraft) for their India – USA/ v.v. Operations.

What do you make of SpiceJet’s plans to fly to the USA?


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