Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jet Airways' lessors offer 50 grounded Boeing aircraft to SpiceJet: Sources

Lessors of beleaguered Jet Airways have offered 50 of the airlines’ new generation Boeing 737 aircraft to budget carrier SpiceJet even on short-term leases of up to three years, Moneycontrol has learnt.

Top sources in SpiceJet told Moneycontrol that the lessors have offered the aircraft on dry lease in order to avoid grounding of these planes in wake of ailing financial health of Jet Airways. A dry lease is a situation where the lessor provides aircraft to an airline without any crew or ground staff member.

SpiceJet is in need of 12 new aircraft after the aviation safety watchdog, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), decided to ground Boeing 737 Max planes owing to safety concerns. The aircraft model was involved in two fatal accidents within a span of six months killing 346 people in all.

The budget carrier has, so far, received two replacements on lease from a Turkish Airline, sources said.
Lessors of Jet Airways, sources say, fear payment uncertainty owing to the financial crunch in the company.

Jet Airways is reeling under a debt of over Rs 8,000 crore has been defaulting on loan re-payment and interest thereof. It has grounded a total of 60 aircraft so far and is operating with half its fleet. This has led to numerous flight cancellations, consequently leading to soaring airfares.

India's second-largest carrier, which is facing is worst ever debt crisis in 25 years, has delayed payments to its pilots, suppliers and lessors for months and defaulted on loans subsequent to an intense competition, weak rupee and rising fuel costs.
19/03/19 Nikita Vashisht/
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