In its ambitious attempts to connect Tier II and Tier III cities of India, the SpiceJet has received a brand new fleet of the latest Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft from Bombardier.
“Our focus is on Tier II and Tier III cities to ensure affordable journey to common people,” its chairman Kalanithi Maran said. The cities which will be connected with the brand new aircraft are Aurangabad, Bhopal, Indore, Mangalore, Rajahmundry, Tirupati and Vijayawada.
The budget airline will launch its services from September 21 with the Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft, which can accommodate 78 passengers and is considered among the best short-haul planes in the world.
SpiceJet had placed an order for 30 such aircraft and its chairman Mr. Maran received the first four aircraft at an event held here on Friday. For the 30 aircraft, SpiceJet is likely to pay around $ 900 million.
The budget carrier has been focusing on improving air connectivity in Tier-II and Tier-III towns, a potentially large market yet to be tapped by the aviation industry.
SpiceJet will also include routes within its existing destinations using the Q400 aircraft and will operate direct flights from Hyderabad to Goa, Madurai, Nagpur and Pune and Bangalore to Vizag.
“This will be the game changing aircraft for the Indian aviation industry,” Chief Executive Officer Neil Mills said.
The air carrier will also be flying on three currently unconnected routes – Hyderabad-Mangalore, Hyderabad-Aurangabad and Vizag-Tirupati.
SpiceJet plans to more than double its fleet in about three years. It currently flies 30 Boeing 737s - 800/900.
The budget carrier has chosen Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport as the base for the regional operations. Functioning from the Andhra Pradesh capital reduces flying time and increases connectivity in the South.