India’s political and financial capitals New Delhi and Mumbai will once again be just a flight away from Dhaka thanks to budget carrier SpiceJet’s acquisition of the slots vacated by collapsed Jet Airways.
Jet Airways ran daily direct flights between Dhaka and Mumbai and New Delhi but its grounding on April 17 for an indefinite period after it ran out of cash left a huge hole in air connectivity with Bangladesh’s second biggest trading partner.
But that mantle has been taken up by SpiceJet, which grabbed most of the international slots of the fallen airline.
From July 25, SpiceJet will be running direct flights daily between Dhaka and Mumbai.
The flight’s timing would be the same as Jet Airways’: it will depart Dhaka at 1:20pm and land in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport three-and-a-half hours later at 4:15pm.
From Mumbai it will depart at 8:50am and land in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport about three hours later at 12:50pm.
A round trip would cost about Tk 25,200 on the Indian no-frills airline, which is almost half the fare offered by Jet Airways for the route.
And from July 31 it will start daily direct flights between Dhaka and New Delhi and on the same schedule as Jet Airways.
The flight will leave Dhaka at 11:30am and land in Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at two-and-a-half hours later at 1:30pm.
From Delhi the flight would depart at 7:40am and arrive in Dhaka at 10:30am.
A round trip would cost about Tk 23,000, which is again half that on Jet Airways.
SpiceJet, which already operates two daily flights between Dhaka and Kolkata, will deploy a 168-seater Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the routes and the fare is inclusive of 20kg check-in baggage.
Following Jet’s flight suspension, Biman Bangladesh Airlines resumed direct flight operations between Dhaka and Delhi after a five-year gap in May.
The national flag carrier is running thrice-a-week direct flights on the route.
In fiscal 2017-18, Bangladesh’s exports to India stood at $873.27 million and its imports from the neighbouring country amounted to $8.62 billion, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank.
Founded in 2004, SpiceJet is the second largest airline in India by the number of domestic passengers carried, with a market share of 13.6 percent as of March 2019.