With the grounding of 12 Boeing737MAX aircraft, all belonging to SpiceJet, by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation Wednesday onwards, Indian skies have now gone short of 114 planes of its total fleet size of 585, which is sure to push up spot fares by up to 25% in the short term. Further, since lifting of the ban will not happen soon and financial problems in Jet Airways dragging, capacity shortage is there to stay leading to a long-term pain as well.
While the latest grounding is due to the recent crash of a 737 MAX of Ethiopian Airlines, even earlier carriers like IndiGo, GoAir, Jet Airways and Air India had grounded a number of their aircraft due to one reason or the other, ranging from financial constraints to technical problems to shortage of pilots. For instance, around 50% of Jet’s fleet is grounded due to non-payment to lessors and IndiGo has been cancelling around 30 flights everyday due to shortage of pilots. Another carrier GoAir has about 14 of its 47 aircraft grounded due to lack of network to fly to or due to the Pratt & Whitney engine issue.