Spicejet Airlines, India’s low cost carrier, has received the delivery of 15 Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft from the Canadian manufacturer, increasing its fleet strength to 51. With the addition of these aircraft, the airline plans to target more routes on the tier II and III cities will get a further boost as it will be able to not only increase the frequency of flights in the sectors where there is a high demand but will also be able to open up new sectors of air travel.
The use of Q400 NextGen aircraft fits into the overall strategy of the airline as well as into the government policy quite well. The government has been inclined to provide more air-based regional connectivity between the cities but the airlines do not have much of small turbo-type aircrafts in their fleets. The Q400s are 70-80 seater planes which are suitable for meeting this government policy need as well as open up connectivity with new sectors of travel. Another major advantage with this aircraft is that it is an environment friendly aircraft with one of the lowest emissive footprint. Further, this is an airplane which also gives the cost advantage to the Spicejet as these are 30-40 percent more cost effective than the jet aircrafts which it replaces.
IndiGo airlines, the leading Indian carrier in terms of the domestic market share and also a competitor LCC of Spicejet that aims to provide cheap air tickets to customers, does not have these aircraft in its fleet since it operates only A320s which are 160-180 seaters. So, these turbo aircraft will provide more choice and flexibility of operation to the Spicejet and help it meet the competition as well as increase its profitability of operations.
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