Mar 5, 2013
Jet Airways managed to lease these planes at a cheaper rate as the lessors of Kingfisher Airlines were unable to take the planes back to their country, according to two people close to the development. Kingfisher Airlines has been grounded since 1 October owing to a cash crunch.
“We have taken two ATR 72-500s from lessors that were earlier leased to Kingfisher Airlines. The lease rates are competitive for similar-aged aircraft,” Jet Airways spokesperson said without disclosing details.
Leasing companies are unable to repossess the aircraft because airport operators stalled the process asking for clearing of their dues first, according to one of the persons cited above.
“Lessors have no option but to lease it out to existing Indian players and Jet Airways encashed the opportunity. These Kingfisher planes are now repainted with Jet Airways livery at aircraft painting facility in Hyderabad,” he said.
Last week, Jet Airways had applied to the ministry of civil aviation for six of the eight overseas flying permits previously held by rival Kingfisher Airlines after the civil aviation ministry withdrew the grounded airline’s flying slots, including those to the UK, Singapore, Thailand and the UAE.
These slots will be given to other local airlines, the ministry had said in a statement.
Kingfisher’s operating licence was suspended in October by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, following a strike by the airline’s employees. The licence has since expired, although it can be renewed within two years.
Meanwhile, Jet Airways is in talks with Etihad Airways PJSC of the UAE for selling a 24% stake.
Last week, Etihad Airways purchased three pairs of slots at Heathrow airport belonging to Jet Airways for $70 million, the strongest indication yet that the deal in which the UAE’s national airline is to buy a stake in the Indian airline is on track. On Monday, shares of Jet Airways lost 7.03% to Rs.500 on BSE, while the exchange’s benchmark Sensex lost 0.21% to 18,877.96 points. Kingfisher Airlines fell 4.78% to Rs.9.17.
Source: Live Mint