"Withdrawing six aircraft from the fleet means a significant reduction in capacity. This would have a direct impact on the airline's passengers as well as air travellers," Mumbai-based travel firm Nomad Travel's chief executive and Travel Agents Federation of India's former general secretary Ajay Prakash said here.
    
SpiceJet currently has 32 aircraft in the fleet with 17 of them Boeing 737-800 and remaining 78-seater Bombardier Q400s. If six of them are withdrawn, the budget carrier would be left with 26 planes only.

Apprehending large scale cancellations of flights by the carrier after it takes off six of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft from operations, Prakash said the mismatch in demand and supply could also lead to other carriers' hiking fares.

"The ruling has come just around the peak summer travel period. Any reduction in capacity would mean other airlines increasing fares in view of high travel demand," he said.
    
In a severe blow to the airline, which is still in the revival stage following the change of ownership, Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to deregister six Boeing 737 aircraft given to the carrier on lease by some foreign firms.
    
An airline cannot operate an aircraft once it is deregistered by the DGCA. Justice Rajiv Shakdher, while issuing the direction to DGCA, also said that the aviation regulator will decide in two weeks the Irish firms' plea to export the planes, majority of which are Boeing 737 aircraft.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor expressed confidence of the operations going forward seamlessly.
    
"We don't expect any disruption in services or operation. The situation this time has changed. There is a new owner, and there are funds with the company," Kapoor said.
    
He, also said that the company was already in discussions with the lessors for the induction of more aircraft, adding, "We expect to add 8-9 more aircraft in the fleet during the summer schedule."

Earlier, reacting to High Court directives, the airline had in a statement said, "We are studying the order, if so advised we will take matter to the higher judicial forum. Dialogues are on to settle the dispute amicably."

Stating that the reduction in capacity may spell a bad time for the passengers and travel agents if the fleet size gets further shrunk, Iqbal Mulla, president of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) said, "It is going to be a major problem more particularly for the passengers. The summer vacation rush may aggravate it further."
    
"Those passengers, who have already booked for summer vacations will be hit the most," he said.

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