India’s second-largest low-fare airline SpiceJet Ltd has signed a three-year inter-line agreement with Singapore's largest budget airline Tiger Airways to offer better connectivity to its passengers travelling to Singapore via Hyderabad, it said on Monday.
“SpiceJet is the first Indian low-fare airline to establish such an arrangement with a foreign airline. This partnership will result in a major boost for tourism and business travel between the two countries,” SpiceJet said.
From January 1, 2014 onwards, customers travelling on SpiceJet’s domestic network from 14 Indian cities in India will get seamless connection through Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport Ltd onto Tigerair’s Singapore-bound flights.
The 14 Indian cities include, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Delhi, Goa, Indore, Mangalore, Pune, Rajahmundry and Tirupati.
Also, from January 14, Tigerair customers from Singapore will be offered easy access to SpiceJet’s domestic network.
As per an inter-line pact, the companies entering into this deal can issue and accept tickets for flights operated by the partner airlines. While selling an inter-line ticket, the operating airline’s own flight numbers are used.
"This partnership will hugely benefit travellers from India and Singapore, and represents one of the building blocks of the emerging new SpiceJet,” Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer of SpiceJet, said in the statement.
Shares of SpiceJet rose as much as 12 per cent on the Bombay Stock Exchange, after the deal was announced but moderated in mid-day trade.
The company clarified that this is not an investment deal and is not linked to the proposed equity investment in the firm. SpiceJet has been in negotiations with several international airlines to dilute stake and raise resources after the government allowed foreign carriers to pick stake in Indian airlines.
Last year, India allowed foreign airlines to own up to 49 per cent in a domestic carrier, in an effort to breathe life into the ailing aviation industry which has been bleeding with heavy losses.
Tata Sons Ltd has joined hands with Singapore Airlines Ltd to start a full-service airline and also a separate venture as a minority partner with Malaysia’s AirAsia for a new low-fare airline, following the relaxation in FDI policy. The two ventures, however, are still awaiting final ground clearances.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways (India) Ltd recently offloaded 24 per cent stake to Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways PJSC in a large sized deal.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)