Budget carrier SpiceJet on Friday said has already hired over 500 employees of Jet Airways which has temporarily grounded all its operations after failing to secure emergency funding, PTI reported.

SpiceJet’s Chairperson and Managing Director Ajay Singh confirmed that the airline has hired 100 pilots, more than 200 cabin crew and over 200 technical and airport staff of Jet Airways, ANI reported. “As we expand and grow, we are giving first preference to those who have recently lost their jobs due to the unfortunate closure of Jet Airways,” Singh said in a statement. “We will do more. We will also induct a large number of planes in our fleet soon.”

SpiceJet has announced that it will add 27 more planes over the next two weeks to help to fill in the slots left vacant by the grounding of Jet Airways. “SpiceJet is making all possible efforts to minimise passenger inconvenience and serve Indian customers who are finding it difficult to get seats in this busy season,” Singh said.

SpiceJet announced the launch of 24 new flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi, which are set to be rolled out between April 26 and May 2, according to PTI.

Hundreds of Jet Airways employees had protested in Delhi and Mumbai on Thursday demanding answers from management about their future after the airline shut down all flight operations on Wednesday having failed to secure new funding from its lenders, Reuters reported. An unidentified Jet Airways pilot told the news agency that around 400 pilots and 40 engineers have moved to other airlines.

On Thursday, Jet Airways’ lenders, led by the State Bank of India, said they were “reasonably hopeful” that the bidding process will be able to determine “fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner”.