Gurugram-based budget air carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday, in a filing to the BSE, said it has secured slots at London Heathrow Airport to operate flights between India and the UK from September 1.
In its filing, SpiceJet said, “In continuation of our earlier communication dated July 24, 2020, informing designation for UK operations, we would like to further inform you that SpiceJet has secured slots at London Heathrow Airport to operate flights effective September 1, 2020.”
The SpiceJet has got this slot under the ‘air bubble’ arrangement between India and the UK. The agreement is effective up to end of summer schedule i.e. October 23 this year, the airline further said in the BSE filing.
“Arrangement shall be extended on the basis of resumption of regular operations. The company is also in advance discussion to secure slots for winter schedule for regular operations,” the airline added.
An air bubble is a bilateral arrangement between two countries under which airlines from both nations are allowed to operate international flights with a set of regulations and restrictions. Flight service from India has already started to the US under the established individual bilateral air bubbles. The government has also established an air bubble with France. And there are talks in several stages with many other counties for such pact.
It is to note that SpiceJet on July 24 said it had been designated as “Indian scheduled carrier” to operate flight services to the UK from India. In the previous day, the government had also allowed SpiceJet to fly between Indian and the US under the bilateral air services pact.
Currently, government-run Air India is the only domestic airline flying between India and the UK.
Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri last month said international travel from India would resume in a phased manner depending on the nature of Coronavirus transmission.
India has suspended scheduled international passenger flights since March 23 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, though special international charter flights, approved by the aviation regulator, have been operating.