Airbus SE, frontrunner for Jet’s $5.5-b aircraft order

Abhishek Law | Updated on: Jun 27, 2022
The airline is expected to resume operations in the July-September period

The airline is expected to resume operations in the July-September period | Photo Credit: Joe Ravi

Boeing Co, Embrarer SA also in the fray, say sources

Aircraft maker Airbus SE is said to be among the front runners in a $5.5-billion order from Jet Airways. The order could be for as many as 50 aircraft. Incidentally, Boeing Co and Embraer SA are also in the fray, people aware of the matter told BusinessLine.

Sources said Jet’s talks with Airbus is primarily for A320 Neo jets and A220 planes — the second, primarily being used for regional connectivity under UDAN scheme. A Jet Airways official confirmed that the company was “in final negotiations with lessors and OEMs for aircraft”.

“We will announce our aircraft choice and fleet plans once we have made a decision. We are studying all possibilities to find the one that works best for us,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said. Earlier, Jet Airways had tweeted a poll where 47 per cent of the respondents voted for Airbus A320/A321 to be included in the airlines fleet.

According to an industry analyst, delivery slots are scarce, and airlines can lease jets from lessors who buy in bulk. Buzz in the market is, five Airbus Neo, leased out to another Indian carrier and which is undergoing checks before redelivery to lessors, will find their way back as Jet aircraft.

When contacted, an Airbus spokesperson said, “We do not comment on discussions we might or might not be having with our existing and prospective customers.”

India, considered to be among the fastest-growing aviation markets globally, is witnessing a flurry of activities that include entry of new player Akasa Air; Air India’s operations getting a leg-up with previous owners Tatas coming back at the helm; and Jet Airways eyeing a revival. Akasa has recently received delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX.

Jet’s revival

Incidentally, India’s aviation regulator — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) — had, in May, granted Jet Airways its air operator certificate (AOC), allowing it to resume commercial flight operations. The airline is expected to resume operations in the July-September period.

Jet Airways will be the first Indian carrier to witness a revival in operations under the country’s insolvency and bankruptcy law. Flights (under the previous Naresh Goyal management) were grounded in April 2019 as the company went bankrupt.

Hiring plans

The company has been hiring senior managerial personnel, and had also put out an advertisement asking its former cabin crew members to rejoin the airline. Jet Airways will begin its operations with female cabin crew for now and will hire male cabin crew later, as it scales up operations, following the Vistara’s hiring model.

In an advertisement on Twitter, the airline said: “There’s really nothing like home! Inviting former Jet Airways cabin crew to come back and join us in relaunching India’s classiest airline.”

Published on June 27, 2022
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