SpiceJet will lease 16 additional Boeing 737-800s to cover capacity shortages caused by the grounding of its 737 Max jets and to facilitate further growth.

The carrier says it has applied for no-objection certificates from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to allow it to import the 737s. Subject to that approval, the first of the jets should join the fleet in the next 10 days.

SpiceJet did not identify which lessors are supplying the additional aircraft but appeared to point to the rapid decline of rival Jet Airways’ operations as a factor driving the decision.

“The sudden reduction of aviation capacity has created a challenging environment in the sector,” says the airline’s chairman and managing director Ajay Singh. “SpiceJet is committed to working closely with the government authorities to augment capacity and minimise passenger inconvenience.”

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that it has 13 737 Max 8s in storage as a result of the worldwide grounding of the type. It also has 27 737-800s in service (with two in storage), alongside three -700s, four -900ERs and 27 Bombardier Q400s.