Private carrier Jet Airways today said it plans to lease 6-8 single aisle aircraft in the fleet this fiscal. The airline has already leased one B-737NG of these planes this fiscal and the rest will be inducted in the fleet by March next year, the Naresh Goyal-promoted carrier said. The city-headquartered airline currently has 103 aircraft in the fleet, with 69 of them B-737s. “Our new fleet of Boeing B737-Max will come from June next year onwards. This year, we plan to take anything between 6-8 aircraft from the open lease market and induct in the fleet, primarily B 737NGs,” Jet Airways Chief Financial Officer and acting CEO, Amit Agarwal said during a post- earnings analysts call here.
“We have already added one (such) aircraft into the fleet,” he added. Je Airways had, in 2015, announced an order for 75 Boeing 737 Max aircraft as a part of its fleet replacement strategy. Delivery of these planes is to commence from next year. Jet Airways has reported nearly 95 per cent fall in consolidated net profit at Rs 23 crore in the three months ended March 2017 as higher fuel prices and lower fares took a toll on its bottomline. In fact, if the other incomes of Rs 310.45 crore, which include income from transfer of frequent flyer programme, sale and leaseback income and real estate income are removed, then its a net loss of Rs 287 crore.
The airline plans to reduce debt by USD 200 million by this fiscal, Agarwal said, adding it was cut by Rs 1,900 crore in the last fiscal. “The company has continued to focus on reducing debt despite challenging situation in the market place. The company has been able to reduce its net debt by Rs 468 crore in Q4FY17 and over all by Rs 1,900 crore during the fiscal 2016-17,” the official said. According to Jet Airways, its net debt on balancesheet stood at Rs 9035 crore or USD 1.4 billion at the end of March this year.
Agarwal also said that the airline is evaluating its participation in the central Government’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. “In the first round we had not bid for the RCS routes. In the second round, we will continue to evaluate whether it makes sense for us, especially when we are a network carrier,” he said adding the airline has to asses as to see how it benefit its network.