A SpiceJet booking office in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad. Image Credit: Reuters

Ras Al Khaimah: India’s SpiceJet reiterated on Wednesday its commitment to Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft even as it said there have been “significant consequences” from the grounding of the model.

Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet, said the financial fallout for the airline from having to ground 13 aircraft of that model since March has been “very bad, no question about it.” Still, he said that Boeing has long been a key partner, and “we owe it to Boeing to support them.”

Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft have been banned from flying across the world after two fatal crashes involving the model.

Singh said the financial impact came from having to instead deploy other aircraft models, which are costlier to operate and not as efficient as the 737 Max. The grounding has also forced SpiceJet to halt expansion plans to certain markets that would have benefited from the longer flight range of the 737 Max.

“Boeing is an old and well-known company. They’re experts. Some mistakes were made, but I think they have their act in order now, and we are very hopeful that this aircraft can fly later this year or early next year,” Singh said.

“These things happen in aviation … and we have to ride through the storm.”

The chairman plans to deploy Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft in Ras Al Khaimah once they are recertified to operate, after SpiceJet inked a deal to set up a new base in the emirate.