SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) has confirmed it will induct sixteen B737-800s as it looks to mitigate the impact that the grounding of its thirteen B737-8s has had on its network operations.

The carrier said in a stock exchange disclosure that the jets would be dry-leased and would be imported once a No Objection Certificate (NOC) had been secured from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). According to the Indian press, the jets, which are due to enter service by April 22, are believed to be ex-Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) stock that have been repossessed by the ailing carrier's lessors.

"This is the first lot of Boeing 737s that we are inducting in our fleet. The sudden reduction of aviation capacity has created a challenging environment in the sector. SpiceJet is committed to working closely with the government authorities to augment capacity and minimize passenger inconvenience," Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet said adding that the B737NGs would also help in SpiceJet's aggressive international and domestic expansion plans.

At present, the LCC operates twenty-eight B737-800s, four B737-900(ER)s, three B737-700s, and twenty-seven Dash 8-400s on scheduled flights throughout India as well as to Thailand, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Saudi Arabia, the Maldives, Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

It is also in the process of rolling out several new routes under the subsidized UDAN programme targetting the unserved or underserved markets of Jharsuguda, Kishangarh, and Lilabari/Lakhimpur.