Low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Monday said it has signed an initial pact for code-share agreement with Gulf carrier Emirates, a move which would open new routes for its passengers on the latter's network across the US, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
"SpiceJet and Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a reciprocal code-share agreement, which is set to open new routes and destinations for passengers travelling between India and popular destinations across America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East," Ajay Singh owned company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
It is to be noted that grounding carrier Jet Airways, with its partner Etihad, had sizeable operations to Dubai, the UAE capital city. Last week, cash-strapped Jet Airways temporarily suspended its operation after the State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders rejected the airline's plea for emergency funds.
The code-sharing agreement permits an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and offer them to access the latter's network across the globe.
SpiceJet said that optimised scheduling will allow for minimal transit times between India and these global destinations and travellers on these code-share routes will be able to book connecting flights using a single reservation.
Following this agreement, SpiceJet passengers will have more choice to travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates' Europe network such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Amsterdam, the company said.
"Subject to regulatory approvals, the code-share agreement will also open up flights for Indian travellers to North and South American destinations such as New York, Washington, Toronto, and Sao Paulo as well as Middle Eastern destinations such as Jeddah, Kuwait and Amman, operated by Emirates," it said.
In turn, Dubai based-Emirates' passengers will also enjoy wider connectivity on SpiceJet's network across India. SpiceJet operates 516 average daily flights to 60 destinations, including 51 domestic and 9 international ones. The airline has a fleet of 48 Boeing 737, 27 Bombardier Q-400s and two B737 freighters.
"This will bolster Emirates' already-extensive network adding a total of 67 weekly connections between Emirates' hub in Dubai to these growing destinations in India. This includes increased domestic connectivity from Emirates' nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin which would allow for a greater variety of travel options between both Emirates and SpiceJet flights," the company said in the exchange filing.
Commenting on the development, Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said: "This new partnership should immensely benefit passengers travelling on both airlines. While SpiceJet passengers from across India will be able to enjoy seamless connectivity leveraging Emirates vast network across Europe, Africa, America and the Middle East those travelling to India on Emirates will be able to travel to 51 destinations across our domestic network."
Shares of SpiceJet plunged 5.79 per cent in intra-day trade to Rs 128.35 on Monday as crude oil prices jumped to a five-month high amid a report that the United States may stop sanction waivers to nations buying oil from Iran.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar