On Tuesday afternoon, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport said goodbye to a Boeing 777-300ER that had been parked there for 2.5 years. The aircraft belonged to former Indian full-service carrier Jet Airways and was sold to IAG Aero Group last month. The 777 landed in Victorville, California, where it is expected to be scrapped. Let’s find out more about its final flight.
At around 12 pm local time, former Jet Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER departed Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, heading west towards the US. The final take-off video of the twin-engine plane, still in Jet’s livery, was uploaded on social media. This marks the end of the road for the 777, which at the height of its operations flew for Jet Airways to some of its most ambitious destinations in Europe and the US.
According to RadarBox.com, the plane landed in Victorville at 1:29 pm local time after a journey of 10 hours and 34 minutes. There, it is most likely to be disassembled, with its two G-90 engines and all other important parts removed.
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Sold for just $9 million
The 777, with former registration number VT-JEW, was sold to IAG Aero Group last month for just $9 million and had its registration changed to N377CL. The transaction was part of Jet’s bankruptcy proceedings, and the purchase was made at a price far less than the plane’s market value of around $38 million.
The aircraft was seized in Amsterdam in April 2019 in the most dramatic fashion, just an hour before its scheduled departure for Mumbai. A week later, the financially struggling Jet Airways ceased all operations.
In January 2020, it was reported that KLM was interested in buying the airplane, but the deal did not materialize. Any further discussion about the plane’s future was put on hold following the COVID outbreak until last month, when it finally found a new owner.
— Menno Swart (@MennoSwart) October 19, 2021
What’s next for Jet?
For quite some time, plans of Jet’s revival have been making headlines. Now with its new owners – the Kalrock-Jalan consortium – officials at Jet announced in September that the carrier could start domestic operations as early as the first quarter of 2022.
However, some tasks are still to be completed before we see any of Jet’s planes in the skies. The company has applied for the revalidation of the air operator certificate (AOC) and is waiting for the DGCA’s nod for its business plans.
The carrier is also in discussion with various airports to obtain slots and night parking facilities. Getting important slots at major airports in India has been a challenge for Jet, with the DGCA declining its request to reclaim old slots. Much has happened since the carrier went bust, with other Indian airlines devouring many of Jet’s previous slots.
While one of Jet’s 777 may have gone to the graveyard, there are still some more left whose fate is undecided. In August 2020, the carrier reacquired six of its 777s from lessor Fleet Ireland after paying $13 million. Officials at Jet have said that the airline, once revived, will start with a small fleet of narrowbody airplanes on domestic routes. However, according to a report by the Economic Times, Jet could retain some 777s for future international operations.
Did you ever fly in any of Jet Airways’ 777 aircraft? How hopeful are you of a successful revival of the airline? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.