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Explained: IndiGo allowed to wet-lease aircraft, what it means


The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has authorised IndiGo’s request to wet-lease a wide-body Boeing aircraft from Turkish Airlines for a period of up to six months. But the local carrier’s request to lease the aircraft for a period of up to two years was rejected by the Aviation regulator, according to PTI sources.

Since its fleet now solely consists of narrow-body aircraft, IndiGo chose to lease wide-body aircraft to expand its international flight schedule in order to satisfy growing demand. Pratt & Whitney and CFM engine supply problems are currently causing a large number of IndiGo and Go First Airbus A320 aircraft to be grounded.

The difference between wet-lease and dry-lease is who has operational control. Wet leases involve the lessor maintaining operational control of all flights while providing the aircraft and crew, whereas dry leases involve the lessee providing its own crew and exercising control.

Also Read: Several IndiGo flights delayed after non-availability of crew

The DGCA turned down IndiGo’s request to wet-lease the aircraft for a prolonged length of time, noting the possibility for diversion of traffic rights in collaboration with a strong foreign carrier that would primarily feed the latter’s overseas hub with more Indian customers.

The largest airline in India has been granted authorisation to wet lease wide-body aircraft from Turkish Airlines for a term of three months, with an option for a second three-month period. The aviation watchdog turned down the domestic airline’s request to wet lease the plane for up to two years.

Also Read: IndiGo’s Delhi-Kolkata flight gets smoke warning, pilots call ‘Mayday’

The DGCA lacks sufficient safety control over aircraft operating under wet lease agreements. Wet-leasing an aircraft for IndiGo effectively implies that the Indian airline will just sell tickets for flights on planes that are being operated by the original carrier. The concerned foreign airline would provide the whole operating staff and engineering staff.

There are now just two flights per day that can be conducted by airlines from either Turkey or India. The government is encouraging domestic airlines to have wide-body aircraft in their fleets and is also looking at mega aviation hubs in India.

Also Read: Customer wonders what’s Cute Tax IndiGo charged him

(With PTI inputs)

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