flybig (FLG, Indore) has wet-leased a DHC-8-Q400, ET-ANV (msn 4317), from Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa International) for direct flights between Delhi International and Shillong from May 2, a source close to the Ethiopian airline has confirmed to ch-aviation.

The aircraft will operate twice-weekly rotations on the route, with plans for another of the type to be added on dry-lease, Managing Director Sanjay Mandavia told The Times of India.

He said the Indian regional carrier plans to expand its fleet to ten undisclosed ATR - Avions de Transport Régional aircraft by March 2023.

In addition, Mandavia said, the airline has secured an investor in India’s RDB Group - one of the leading real estate companies in Eastern India – and has ordered ten DHC-6-400s for flights between tier-three and tier-four cities in the country.

flybig's current fleet totals one ATR72-500 leased from Avation and one ATR72-600 leased from DAE Capital, ch-aviation fleets data shows.

As reported, in March 2022, a flybig spokesperson said the airline was talking to lessors to acquire as many as 36 more aircraft to meet surging demand for domestic travel in India, with particular potential for routes under India's UDAN regional airport development programme in more remote regions.

The company received a No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) on December 14, 2020. It began operations with a single ATR72-500.

Before it began scheduled flights, it won its first route under a government tender to serve Shillong from Delhi. The flights commenced on December 21, 2020, and to fulfil its obligations, the airline wet-leased a Q400 from SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) at the time.