SpiceJet (SG, Delhi International) is midway through a program to lease ten B737s and an A340, with three of the narrowbody jets and the A340 already delivered, according to a CNBC-TV18 report.

Analysis of ch-aviation fleets data lends some support to the report, with A340-300 YR-LRD (msn 835) ferrying to India in June and now operating on domestic and international sectors, including recent repatriation flights out of Tel Aviv Ben Gurion. The widebody's operator is Legend Airlines (Romania) (LZ, Bucharest Henri Coanda).

"Diwali [...], the Cricket World Cup, school vacations and office breaks will contribute to the increased demand," an anonymous SpiceJet source told the outlet. "To accommodate this surge in traffic, we have commenced the induction of ten leased aircraft B737s starting September 2023."

SpiceJet is also wet-leasing two B737-800s - from Corendon Airlines (XC, Antalya) and Corendon Airlines Europe (XR, Malta International).

The low-cost carrier has been plagued by operational and financial difficulties this year. However, in May, its chairman and managing director Ajay Singh said he would return 25 parked aircraft to service, plugging a capacity gap caused by the Go First (GOW, Mumbai International) insolvency. At the end of that month, SpiceJet said the first aircraft on the list would be a pair of B737s and two DHC-8-Q400s, with more to follow.

According to ch-aviation data, SpiceJet currently has 25 inactive aircraft, or 42% of its 60-strong fleet. The inactive aircraft include two B737-700s, two B737-300(BDSF)s, four B737-800s, two B737-900ERs, and twelve DHC-8-Q400s. Nonetheless SpiceJet's capacity has increased in recent months. After slipping down the ladder to become India's sixth largest airline (based on market share) over the 2023 northern summer, it has recently regained some ground, overtaking Akasa Air (QP, Mumbai International) to become India's fifth largest carrier with a 4.4% market share.