This week brought some exciting news for Jet Airways as it was formally pulled out of bankruptcy proceedings. The airline now has new owners who can turn it around and begin commercial services once again. But what planes will the revived Jet Airways fly? Will it be similar to the legacy carrier it was before? Let’s find out.
A big step forward
Last Tuesday, Jet Airways officially received clearance to exit bankruptcy and enter into the ownership of the Kalrock-Jalan consortium. While the bidding process had been completed in October, there remained lingering doubts about Jet Airways’ former slots and their current status. However, with all of that cleared up, the courts allowed the airline to begin operations temporarily.
This is a huge step towards seeing Jet Airways return to the skies once again. The new leadership, however, has been tight-lipped about the fleet of the revived carrier. Currently, plans suggest that the carrier will restart with 25 aircraft, split into 20 narrowbodies and five widebodies. The exact type of plane has not been revealed, although there are some hints.
Jet Airways has long been the biggest operator of the 737 in India. Considering it had thousands of pilots and crew trained on the popular Boeing narrowbody, the plane is a favorite to return to the revived airline’s fleet too. Moreover, considering the current state of the market, leasing new aircraft could be much cheaper than it was a few years ago.
Considering the Boeing 737 MAX remains grounded in India, and its sole operator has no interest in flying it for now, the 737-800 is the more likely pick. These older-generation planes have a solid track record at Jet Airways, and the carrier will have no issues finding a crew to operate the jets.
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When it comes to Jet Airways 2.0’s widebody planes, things are a bit more unclear. The airline operated the A330 and 777 before its collapse in 2019, making both possible options. Moreover, Jet recently reacquired six of its 777-300ERs from lessors after paying unpaid dues worth $13 million.
However, these planes have been sitting on the ground for over two years, meaning their status is unknown. Maintenance and repair costs for these planes could run into the millions, making them liabilities to the revived airline. Moreover, considering the beleaguered long-haul international market, Jet might hold off on acquiring widebodies for now.
Considering Jet’s new owners have said that they want to focus on regional routes as well, we can’t rule out the return of the ATR72 in the future too. However, for now, Jet Airways is likely focusing its attention on choosing a new fleet of narrowbodies for the bulk of its operations. Expect to see many more details emerge in the coming months as Jet plots its return to the skies.
What do you think about the future of Jet Airways’ fleet? Let us know in the comments!