Private airline SpiceJet’s stock rose more than 6 per cent in Thursday’s trading after it was designated as the scheduled carrier to operate between India and United States. SpiceJet informed the exchanges about the government’s decision through a regulatory filing. “This is to inform you that in terms of the Air Services Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of the United States of America, SpiceJet has been designated as Indian scheduled carrier to operate on agreed services between India and the USA,” the airline said in the filing.
The SpiceJet shares witnessed a sharp spike following the announcement, with the stock rising as much as 6.42 per cent to hit an intra-day high of Rs 50.50. At 12:15 pm, the stock was up 5.16 per cent at Rs 49.80 apiece. The broader market was also in the green, with the BSE Sensex gaining more than half a per cent in mid-day trading.
Last week, India signed bilateral agreements with France and the US that allowed airlines of each country to operate international flights.
“Till international civil aviation can reclaim its pre-COVID numbers, I think the answer lies in bilateral air bubbles which will carry a possible number of people but under defined conditions as countries are still imposing entry restrictions, including India,” Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said, adding that similar arrangements with Germany and the UK were being worked out too.
Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the coronavirus pandemic. After nearly two months of suspension to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the government had resumed scheduled domestic passenger flights on May 25.