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Jet Airways defers Boeing 787 induction

According to a source, the airline will start receiving the 787s from 2019

Aneesh Phadnis  |  Mumbai 

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Jet Airways has deferred the induction of Boeing 787 aircraft due from 2017-end as it aims to limit wide body capacity addition and consolidate its business. As per the original plan, Jet was expected to receive the first of the ten Boeing 787 on order from last quarter of 2017 but now the airline management has pushed back the induction. "At Jet Airways we continuously review our fleet and network strategy. We are currently upgrading capacity on key international routes by deploying the six Boeing 777 aircraft which are returning from lease. A decision on the induction of additional wide body aircraft will be based on the outcome of the review," a Jet Airways spokesperson said in an emailed response. The spokesperson did not state when the airline will start receiving the 787s but a source indicated it is likely to receive them from 2019. A Boeing spokesperson did not immediately respond to the query on the topic. Jet Airways ordered ten Boeing 787 aircraft in 2006. Its original order was for the 787-8 varaint (flown by Air India) but later the airline converted it to the bigger variant (787-9) which has a longer range and higher seat capacity (290 in a standard two class configuration).

The 787-9 has a list price of $ 264.6 million. Jet Airways has 116 aircraft including a mix of narrow body 737s, wide bodies Airbus A330s and Boeing 777s and turboprop ATR-42 aircraft. Recently it announced deployment of the Boeing 777 aircraft on Amsterdam, Dubai and Singapore routes following return of leased planes from Etihad. Three A330s are on lease with Turkish Airlines and will return to Jet in 2020. Jet Airways has 75 Boeing 737s Max on order due for delivery in 2018 and currently most of its capacity enhancement has been through improved better utilisation. While rival IndiGo plans to add 24 Airbus A320 aircraft in the current fiscal, Jet Airways has no additional 737 planes entering its service this year. As such its passenger growth is slower than IndiGo and its market share too fell 2.1 percentage points to 19.1 in June on a year on year basis. The airline posted its fifth consecutive profit in Q1 FY 17 but profit fell 44 per cent to Rs 126 crore on a year on year basis as it was impacted by decline in yields. Analysts say Jet Airways' fleet requirements have always been constrained due to its limited long distance international network and the airline has been leasing bulk of its Boeing 777 planes to foreign airlines since 2009. "It would behoove Jet to replace their ageing Boeing 777 fleet with the fuel efficient long range 787-9s before the aircraft lose their market value like the Airbus 330-200s," said Devesh Agarwal, editor of aviation blog Bangalore Aviation.

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First Published: Thu, August 18 2016. 00:40 IST
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