• Jet Airways to take back 6 Boeing planes from Etihad for use in its core market

    Private carrier Jet Airways will take back all six wide-body Boeing aircraft leased out to its investment partner Etihad Airways in the next six months and deploy them on some of its core routes including to the Gulf.

    The six B777-300 ER aircraft are expected to be put into service from August and some of them are likely to be used in the domestic sector as well, Jet Airways Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and acting Chief Executive Amit Agarwal said during a post-earnings analysts’ call recently.

    “Our wide body (Boeing 777) aircraft currently on lease to partner airline Etihad will be taken back and operationalised from August. Based on the market condition, our plan is to upgrade some of the existing A330 routes with B-777,” Agarwal said.

    “We will be careful and cautiously deploy these aircraft in the domestic market,” he said.

    These ultra long-haul operation planes had been wet-leased to Etihad, which holds 24 per cent stake in the Naresh Goyal-owned private airline.

    Wet lease is an arrangement in which the lessor provides an aircraft along with the cockpit and cabin crew and pays for its maintenance and insurance. The company which wet leases the plane pays by the hours it is operated. In dry lease, only the aircraft is leased out.

    The Mumbai-based full service airline, along with its subsidiary JetLite, has a total of 116 aircraft, with 92 of them being on operating lease and rest 24 owned by it.

    “This (replacement of Airbus A330 with B 777) will subsequently result in additional capacity in our core market India and Gulf,” Agarwal said.

    Jet Airways, the second largest domestic carrier by market share, also plans to deploy these long-haul planes to destinations like Amsterdam, Paris and Toronto by replacing the existing wide-body Airbus A330s, a Jet official had said early last month.

    Amsterdam became the airline’s new overseas gateway for international operations to Europe and beyond from late March, replacing Brussels.

    Staying profitable for the fourth straight quarter, Jet Airways posted a net profit of Rs 426 crore in January-March, primarily aided by lower fuel expenses and higher passenger numbers.

    In the financial year ending March 2016, the airline posted its first annual profit after eight years, recording a net profit of Rs 1,212 crore. In the corresponding period, it had a net loss of Rs 2,097 crore. Miro Heiskanen Jersey

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