SpiceJet, Air India may fly 40 Jet Airways planes from next week: report
Some of Jet Airways' grounded planes are likely to start flying by as early as Tuesday next week. SpiceJet is said to take around 40 of Jet Airways' Boeing 737s and Air India is likely to take five of the airline's wide body Boeing 777s. Some Boeing 737s might be taken by Air India for its budget carrier, Air India Express.
According to a report in Times of India, almost 40 to 45 planes are expected to be operational in the next 10 days. A source told the daily that this arrangement will provide gainful employment with pay to some of Jet's staff as the aircraft will be wet-leased. Wet-leasing is a kind of leasing arrangement where an airline provides aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance to another carrier or business and is paid by the hours operated. The source also added that operation of these additional flights hints at stabilisation of fares on domestic routes.
The daily mentions that once Air India starts operating the B777s on international routes like London, Dubai and Singapore, fares on these routes should also stabilise.
Seventy-five planes had gone out of the system due to Jet's grounding, while other Indian carriers bought in 58 planes, leaving a deficit of 17 planes. Aviation Secretary PS Kharola said that other airlines are likely to induct 31 planes in May, June and July. Additional 20 planes are likely to be leased. He added that the aviation ministry has asked airlines to hasten the process as summer travel demand is very strong.
With around 40 of Jet's planes operating with Air India and SpiceJet, the gap on domestic and international routes could be filled, which will help bring down fares.
Separately, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube along with Maharashtra Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, the airline's chief financial officer Amit Agarwal, and representatives of pilots, engineers, cabin crew and ground staff unions met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley at his residence in Delhi on Saturday. Dube said that the minister assured to look into the cash-strapped airline's issues.
Jet Airways that ceased all operations on Wednesday, has not paid to its entire staff for March.