SpiceJet launches Dubai operations

SpiceJet, India’s second largest budget carrier by market share, has launched its Dubai operations with daily flights connecting the shopping hub of the Middle East to Delhi and Mumbai as part of the carrier’s continuing strategic expansion into international markets.

By Abdul Basit

Published: Wed 27 Jun 2012, 10:44 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 11:08 AM

The low-cost carrier currently operates in two international routes — Delhi-Kathmandu and Chennai-Colombo and Dubai is the third global destination of the airline. In the Indian domestic market, SpiceJet connects 34 points with a fleet of 42 aircraft flying over 40,000 passengers a day.

SpiceJet is working on new destinations in India as well as in the GCC as the carrier has set its sights on expanding its coverage in phases. Some of the destinations the airline is looking to connect with Dubai at the Indian end are Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad while in the Gulf Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh is under the plan. To support the expansion plan, the airline continues to add more aircraft in the fleet.

“We get 5-6 aircraft per year and in the last 18 months got 20 aircraft,” SpiceJet chief executive officer Neil Mills told Khaleej Times at a news conference in Dubai on Tuesday. Spicejet has acquired seven new Bombardier Q400 aircraft for enhancing connectivity to Tier II and Tier III cities.

Mills mentioned that seven new international sectors under the plan are Kabul, Hong Kong, China, Bangkok, Riyadh, and more frequencies to Colombo. “Opening up Dubai is a milestone for us as it will offer us an opportunity to serve the large Indian and Western expatriate community along with the UAE citizens with an affordable flying option,” said SpiceJet chief executive officer Neil Mills.

Mills said Dubai is a significant addition to its portfolio of destinations and complements the airline’s strategy to connect more Asian points to SpiceJet routes. “Dubai is a key destination and connecting to this bustling cosmopolitan city will also add more value to our global prospects as the emirate’s busy airport is a corridor to Europe and Asia for global passengers,” he said.

Mills said that as a low fare airline, SpiceJet’s pricing philosophy is to ensure affordable flight fares to its passengers. “Our endeavour would be to offer and maintain a competitive and affordable price structure throughout the year to make SpiceJet a preferred carrier for inbound and outbound passengers,” he added.

Bookings for SpiceJet had kicked off earlier this month with an introductory inaugural fare starting from Dh377 excluding taxes. The airline has partnered with Dubai-based Sharaf Travel for bookings and ever since the opening of bookings; SpiceJet has received robust response to its offer.

Mills said that there is huge demand for these two sectors from India to Dubai and SpiceJet flights are around 85 per cent booked. abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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