Jet Airways has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy since the early part of this year. With valuable airport slots being reallocated to other airlines and no clear investor coming forward, it seems like only a matter of time before the company is formally declared insolvent. Many of its aircraft have already been repossessed and found new homes; we take a look at where they are today.
As the airline struggles to find a willing investor, the deadline for expressing interest keeps being pushed back. India is unwilling to let what was once its biggest full service airline simply collapse, so despite the fact that Jet hasn’t flown for many months, it still retains a fleet of aircraft, of sorts.
However, the once-mighty fleet is a mere shadow of its former self, with many aircraft already taken back by the lessors and sent on to other operators. Here’s what we know about where Jet Airways’ fleet is now.
Currently owned aircraft
Currently, Jet Airways is listed by AirFleets as having a fleet of 68 aircraft. These are made up of eight Airbus A330s, 36 Boeing 737s and 10 Boeing 777s. Of the 737s, 29 are NG and seven are the grounded MAX 8 variant. In addition, there are 14 ATR regional aircraft listed as being still under Jet’s ownership. All these aircraft are listed as stored, as the airline does not have the cash to continue operations right now.
None of these aircraft are particularly old, with the widebody 777s and A330s only clock in at between 11 and 12 years. It would be good to see these valuable planes being put to work by another operator, but until Jet Airways formally enters bankruptcy proceedings, there will be no liquidation of its assets.
The fleet at the time of grounding
Back in March, Jet Airways’ fleet numbered some 124 aircraft in service with 227 on order. The fleet was made up largely of 72 Boeing 737-800s, with a smattering of other 737 types, as well as some regional ATR 72s and some widebody A330s and 777s.
Of the aircraft on order, Jet Airways was set to be one of the biggest customers of the new 737 MAX with 142 of the MAX 8 variant on order, as well as 75 of the larger MAX 9. To accompany this was an order for 10 787-9 Dreamliners, which would have replaced the A330s to make Jet an all-Boeing airline.
Where did they go?
The biggest type in the Jet Airways fleet is the Boeing 737. Most of these were the -800 series, with a handful of -900s too. Prior to the grounding of the fleet, Jet also operated a number of -700s, -500s, -400s and -300s, although most of these were phased out long before the airline’s financial troubles.
Of the aircraft that were removed from the fleet this year, the bulk of the benefit appears to have gone to SpiceJet. 15 of the 737s in total have ended up with the rival airline. Another eight also remain in the Indian market, having been re-leased to newcomer Vistara.
Six have gone much further away, heading to South America to be put into service by GOL. Three -800s that were removed from the fleet in the early part of 2019 have ended up with Russian carrier SmartAvia. The rest have been spread around a variety of carriers, including LOT Polish, Comair, FlyBondi, Ethiopian and the UK’s Jet2.
Arriving at @manairport this evening is @jet2tweets latest acquisition G-DRTI. Not difficult to work out it’s previous owner 🙂 #avgeek #aviation #jet2 #boeing #jet2holidays #egcc #ringway #mcr #manchester #manchesterairport #panning #motionblur #boeing737 #photography pic.twitter.com/tceM6vh4Bz
— Enda Burke (@endaburke81) May 29, 2019
Of the A330s, six were removed as part of the early 2019 cull of aircraft. All six are with leasing companies awaiting new homes. However, interestingly of the older A330 fleet Jet Airways used to have, three have ended up with Turkish Airlines and five with Etihad Airways.
Right now, Jet Airways’ widebody 777s and A330s remain ‘stored’ on behalf of the company. It’s likely that these are still under a lease agreement and won’t be reassigned until Jet Airways is formally closed.
SP-LWG | Boeing 737-86N(WL) | LOT – Polish Airlines (Jet Airways c/s) | 27.9.19 zrh pic.twitter.com/H4pUWWdCw7
— LSZH Spotter (@Schmidy_87) September 27, 2019
For the aircraft that have found new homes, it’s interesting to see that many operators have put them into service so rapidly that they haven’t had time to visit the paint shop. Have you seen any Jet Airways planes operating for other carriers but still sporting the blue and yellow of Jet? Let us know in the comments!