SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) has dusted off its plans to add widebody aircraft and hopes to add the first such jets in early 2020, the Press Trust of India newswire has reported.

While the carrier is negotiating with both Airbus and Boeing, it is also reportedly evaluating a potential bid for Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) widebody operations. The flag carrier is due to be put for sale by the government in November 2019. The authorities have recently agreed to allow potential investors to fully take over Air India and liquidate its brand.

SpiceJet did not comment on the reports.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the airline's passenger division currently operates seven B737-700s, fifty-two B737-800s, one B737-900, four -900(ER)s, and thirty-two Dash 8-400s. SpiceJet was linked to a potential widebody order at times in the past, although the airline never formalised the plans.

Meanwhile, the carrier's booming cargo division SpiceXpress is planning to venture into drone operations early in 2020. The Economic Times has reported that the airline has partnered with Bengaluru-based drone manufacturer Throttle Aerospace Systems, analytics firm AeoLogic, and Swiss-based Involi, a provider of air traffic awareness and collision avoidance services. The consortium obtained a permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to test beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations.

SpiceXpress, which already operates three B737-700(F)s and one -800(F), is planning to use the drones to operate urgent last-mile package deliveries and hopes to begin testing in January 2020.

The DGCA also granted approvals for test drone operations to Tata Advanced Systems, food and other goods delivery firms Zomato and Dunzo, and a technological start-up RedWing. Flight testing will not be permitted at or near the airports.