NEW DELHI — At a time when the global aviation industry has been drastically hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s airlines appear to be turning the crisis into an opportunity by expanding their international operations under the ongoing “travel bubble” arrangements.
The latest company to join the bandwagon is low-budget carrier SpiceJet, which earlier this month announced that on Dec. 4 it will launch non-stop services connecting Delhi and Mumbai with London’s Heathrow Airport.
“For SpiceJet, this is a big step [as] it’s the first time we are starting scheduled long-haul operations,” said Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh during an online briefing to announce the London flights. The airline has until now been flying to international destinations closer to India such as Bangkok and Hong Kong.
“More importantly, we are the second-largest airline in India and connect destinations in small towns [in the country],” he said, pointing out that