As govt eases rules, IndiGo now can wet lease Boeing 777 planes from Turkish Airlines

IndiGo: Following the civil aviation ministry’s easing of the relevant standard, IndiGo is now permitted to wet lease Boeing 777 aircraft from Turkish Airlines for a period of one year.

According to the current regulations, an Indian carrier may induct an aircraft on a wet lease for a period of three months, with the possibility of a one-time extension for a further three months. Such leases are only allowed in dire circumstances. These include, among other things, sudden plane groundings.

Rather than a six-month lease, IndiGo requested a two-year lease from the civil aviation ministry in order to wet lease three Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from Turkish Airlines. The government has accepted this submission in part.

In a wet lease, the lessor supplies the pilots with and handles the maintenance and insurance of the aircraft. During the term of the lease, the lessor is also in charge of maintaining operational control of the aircraft.

IndiGo said in a statement that it has received a notification from the aviation ministry granting Indian carriers permission to wet lease aircraft for a six-month period that might be extended by another six months. All Indian carriers may request such a concession, which the government will take into account based on the worldwide destinations the airline intends to serve.

“IndiGo is currently working on finalising the contract for the wet lease,” it said.

IndiGo said last month that it would begin operating flights between Mumbai and Istanbul on January 1. These would be in addition to the flights it now runs using Airbus A320/321Neo-type aircraft between Delhi and Istanbul.

Compared to the Boeing 777, the Airbus aircraft have a lower payload and range. Due to the prevailing wind conditions on the Istanbul route, the airline has in the past had to dump luggage or come to a technical halt.

The number of available seats on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will nearly treble when they are wet leased between India and Turkey. Turkish Airlines will also gain from it because the current bilateral air service agreement restricts the airline’s ability to expand in India.

Since 2018, IndiGo and Turkish Airlines have shared codes. On 19 Turkish Airlines-operated flights to Portugal and Switzerland, IndiGo announced code sharing last week.

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