Jet Airways has put its plan for leasing seven of its 15 ATR-500s to Hyderabad-based regional airline TruJet on hold.
A mail sent by the ATR fleet office to Jet pilots on October 9 said that the wet lease (aircraft and the crew included) commencement plan that was to be in mid-October has been postponed. The reason for the same could not be immediately ascertained.
“The update for the wet lease plan will be further communicated by the fleet office,” the mail said.
Jet has 18 ATRs in its fleet, of which 15 are ATR72-500 variants. Seven of these were agreed to be leased to TruJet and were to go to the regional carrier as per the following plan — three in October this year, two in January and the remaining in March next year.
The postponement of this wet lease to TruJet will definitely be a setback for the regional carrier as it was banking on these aircraft from Jet Airways to expand and get a foothold in the regional market.
As reported by FE earlier, Jet Airways is looking to phase out the ATRs from its fleet and has already initiated a gradual fleet withdrawal plan.
Jet has reduced the number of routes it flies on this aircraft type for the winter schedule.
Jet has three unutilised ATR 72-600s in its fleet that are grounded due to financial reasons, as the airline has not been able to make its regional operations carried out on the ATR fleet type as profitable as other carriers, like rival budget airline IndiGo has on the similar aircraft type, or SpiceJet has done on its Q400s.
In a response to an FE query, a Jet Spokesperson said, “The airline cannot comment on specific business matters due to reasons of confidentiality.”