Air India is looking at leasing five Boeing 777 of Jet Airways which temporarily suspended operations on Wednesday night.
While officially the airline declined to comment on the subject, sources indicated that the state-owned carrier had been in talks with Jet Airways for about 10 days for taking these five aircraft.
Ashwini Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, is said to have written to the SBI Chairman about the possibility of leasing these five aircraft although the official spokesperson declined to confirm this development.
Five foreign flights
Air India will use the Jet aircraft to operate international flights and could look at operating them on various routes, including Mumbai-London Mumbai, Mumbai-Dubai-Mumbai and Delhi-Singapore-Delhi. Incidentally Jet Airways operated flights on all these routes before it suspended operations.
Besides Air India join SpiceJet too said on Thursday that it was planning to induct another six of Jet’s Boeing 737 800 Next Generation on dry lease within the next 10 days.
A dry lease involves taking an aircraft without the operating crew. The six aircraft being leased will be taken for periods varying from two to six years.
This the second time in less than a week that SpiceJet has decided to lease the Boeing 737 aircraft which were earlier registered and being flown by Jet Airways and this decision of leasing six more of Jet’s Boeing 737 aircraft comes less than 24 hours after the airline announced a temporary suspension of all operations on Wednesday night.
On April 12, SpiceJet had said it was inducting 16 Boeing 737 NG that were earlier registered in the name of Jet Airways.
SpiceJet has also announced that it will launch 24 new daily flights connecting Mumbai and Delhi with other cities on its domestic network.
In a statement, the airline said this will includes flights on the Mumbai-Hyderabad-Mumbai, Mumbai-Coimbatore-Mumbai and Mumbai-Mangaluru-Mumbai routes apart from enhancing flights on the Delhi-Bengaluru-Delhi route.
In the coming days, more domestic airlines could come forward and seek other assets of Jet Airways including its slots at airports in India and abroad.