The airport had another B-737 MAX aircraft (registration number VTJXD) parked until early this year. It belonged to Jet Airways, the airline that went bankrupt in April 2019 and is now trying to revive itself.
The plane took off from Calcutta in June and returned to the company that had leased it from the airline. Jet Airways placed a new order for 100 MAX jets before going bankrupt.
“The SpiceJet B-737 Max 8 aircraft has been parked at Kolkata Airport since March 13, 2019. Now that regulators have started to allow resumption of operations with the narrow-body aircraft, SpiceJet plans to operate at new aircraft on the ground from October 5. Once the plane leaves the bay, the airport will remit the bill for the parking fees to the airline, ”said an airport official.
The SpiceJet plane in Kolkata was delivered to the airline on November 2, 2018, just four months before it was stranded around the world following two crashes – one in Indonesia and the other in Ethiopia – attributed to computer problems. SpiceJet had to immobilize 13 planes that had been inducted into its fleet.
The airline carried out preventive maintenance on the aircraft which withstood several cyclones including Fani, Bulbul, Amphan and Yaas while in Kolkata. With the plane now ready for take off, the cabin undergoes a spring cleaning and is ventilated to remove all traces of mold.
Pilots also undergo training at the SpiceJet Training Academy in Gurgaon and the Boeing Simulator facility in Noida. The first promotion of 20 pilots has already completed its “requalification syllabus”. The airline had more than 350 pilots who were trained or qualified on the MAX by the time the plane came to a stop.
The freed bay will be useful in meeting the demand for overnight parking which is expected to increase with the Ministry of Civil Aviation allowing more flights. At present, the airport has 63 parking spaces of which 43 spaces have been allocated to regular airlines for overnight parking and the remaining bays are available for international flights, emergency landings and VVIP movements. .
“Now that the bay will be available, it will give more flexibility to the airport,” said an airport official, noting that before the pandemic, the airport had to deny overnight parking spaces to airlines. due to the constriction of space.