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Last Updated : Mar 26, 2020 04:21 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Coronavirus impact | SpiceJet returns 5 wet leased aircraft to a Turkish airline: Report

Airports, too, will face the impact of the plunge in demand, and will see a drop in passenger traffic.

 
 
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Amid the coronavirus outbreak, budget carrier SpiceJet has returned five of the aircraft it wet leased from Turkish carrier Corendon Airlines.

Sources told the paper the planes were returned due to a cash crunch, but a SpiceJet spokesperson said some aircraft have been returned due to reduced operations.

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has hurt Indian airlines since the government has suspended international and domestic flights.

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With a 21-day nationwide lockdown, air travel is expected to resume only on April 15.

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Some aircraft have been returned due to weaker demand and closure of international operations, a SpiceJet spokesperson told The Indian Express.

“The suspension of international operations and the weakening of domestic demand due to COVID-19 outbreak earlier this month provided an opportunity to SpiceJet to cut high-cost expenses and focus our resources on running a lean and profitable operation. As part of the cost cutting exercise, wide-ranging measures have been taken including returning some wet lease aircraft,” the spokesperson said.

Airports, too, will face the impact of the plunge in demand, and will see a drop in passenger traffic.

“Given the fall in airline operations, airports are likely to operate at less than 20 percent capacity for the month of April and less than 50 percent till June. A decline of anywhere between 8 percent to 15 percent is expected for passengers handled (domestic and international) by airports,” CARE Ratings said in a report.
First Published on Mar 26, 2020 04:21 pm
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