SpiceJet has become the first low-cost Indian airline to offer non-stop flights to connect the key hubs of Delhi and Mumbai with London.
The carrier announced the launch date for its new “Namaste London” schedule from December 4, with operations planned under the air bubble arrangements between India and the UK given the coronavirus travel restrictions currently in place around the world. Undeterred by the , SpiceJet has decided to go ahead with its plans, given the huge demand for India-UK connectivity among the significant Indian diaspora population of Britain and beyond.
The airline says it will operate three times a week to London, including twice from Delhi and once-a-week from Mumbai. SpiceJet will use an Airbus A330-900 Neo aircraft for these flights – a 371-seater twin-aisle aircraft, with a configuration of 353 economy and 18 business class seats.
Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, said: “This is a huge milestone for us and I am proud of the fact that SpiceJet will be the first Indian low-cost airline to operate non-stop long-haul flights to the UK.
“London is one of the busiest long-haul destinations from India and our convenient flight timings should suit the convenience of our passengers perfectly.”
Designated as an “Indian scheduled carrier” by the Indian government to operate to the UK and the US, SpiceJet had initially secured slots at Heathrow Airport in September-October, which have been extended for an entire winter schedule.
Reflecting on the tough times faced by the aviation sector, Singh added: “While the last few months has been the worst-ever period for the global aviation industry battling the Covid pandemic, I am proud of the determination and resolve shown by Team SpiceJet.
“Providing non-stop connectivity from India to different parts of the world and strengthening our own airport hubs has been a long-cherished dream and with our London operations we have taken a small step in that direction.”
During the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, SpiceJet has played a key role in repatriating Indians and foreign nationals. The airline said it has operated 800 charter and “Vande Bharat” flights to help repatriate close to 103,000 stranded Indian citizens and foreign nationals to and from countries such as the UK, Italy, Canada, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Netherlands, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Sri Lanka.
And on August 20, SpiceJet operated its first long-haul charter flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to repatriate 329 Indian and British nationals.
Now with its regular schedule kicking in from December, the airline highlights that passengers from London can also benefit from SpiceJet’s extensive domestic network for onward connections to other Indian destinations from Mumbai and Delhi.
While offering a cost-effective route, the airline promises a no-compromise approach to comfort and features, even in the Economy section.
SpiceJet notes: “The twin aisle A330-900 Neo is one of the most efficient and comfortable aircraft. The Business Class cabin features the best-in-class 18 spacious 75” full flatbed seats for a more personal and luxurious space. Its beautifully lit cabin is equipped with the new-generation in-flight entertainment, featuring large format in-seat personal screens.
“The aircraft features 353 recline-able Economy Class seats to sit back and relax with maximum ease. Twin-aisle 3-3-3 seat configuration comfortably fits you and your loved ones together. Wide personal screens equipped with Zodiac Rave IFE System Generation 3 – a Video Entertainment System will make you wish your journey was a little longer.”
by iGlobal Desk