Jet Airways Cancels Wet Leasing Deal With TruJet
Private carrier Jet Airways today said that it cancelled its proposed deal with TruJet for wet leasing of some of its regional jets over the latter’s failure to meet with the deadline on terms of agreement.
Earlier today, a source had said that the deal for wet leasing of up to seven ATR planes to TruJet by the Jet Airways had hit an air pocket due to regulatory issues and pilots problems.
"Jet Airways has called off the proposed agreement with a regional carrier (TruJet) as the terms were not met within stipulated timelines," a Jet Airways’ spokesperson told PTI in response to a query on the deal. The two carriers had attempted to strike a deal on ATR planes earlier last year as well. However, despite months of back and forth, Jet Airways failed to phase them out.
A wet lease is an arrangement under which one airline provides an aircraft, its complete crew, maintenance and insurance.
The Naresh Goyal-owned private carrier, partially owned by Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi, had been battling cash crunch following two quarterly back-to-back losses. Amid financial distress, the carrier had been delaying payments to its various vendors and has still not paid the September salary to its senior management, pilots and engineers.
The airline also reportedly asked 15 managerial level employees from various departments, including engineering, security and sales, to leave the carrier this month, besides grounding eight of its narrow and wide body planes.
“The plan to wet lease up to seven ATRs from Jet Airways is on hold as of now. If it comes back to the negotiation tables at all, it will be only next year,” the source said.
Currently, Jet Airways has 15 ATRs in its fleet. TruJet, which operates its services on regional and Udan routes from Hyderabad to various destinations, has an all-ATR fleet.
Jet Airways is not in a position to provide adequate number of ATR pilots along with the aircraft as a number of pilots have quit the carrier in the recent past, the source said. Instead, the source said, it wants TruJet to dry lease these planes, which is an economically viable proposition for the regional carrier.
As against this, in a dry lease the lessor gives out only aircraft to a lessee airline or operator. TruJet spokesperson was not available for comments.
The source said that leasing in an ATR from the market is not an issue but getting trained pilots for this type of aircraft certainly is. The source also said that a dry lease doesn’t make economic sense at all.