JetLite to phase out CRJ200s, old 737s

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Jet Airways says that its wholly owned subsidiary JetLite will be phasing out its CRJ fleet as well as old Boeing 737 narrowbodies, starting next month.

JetLite operates a fleet of 23 aircraft, which includes one Boeing 737-300, one 737-400, seven 737-700s and seven 737-800s and seven CRJ-200s.

JetLite inherited the CRJ fleet through the acquisition of Air Sahara and the operating leases are now reaching maturity. The seven aircraft fleet includes three ex-Midway Airlines CRJ-200ERs as well as four ex-Flybe CRJ-200LRs that were contracted in 2003 on a seven-year operating lease.

“Over the next few months, we will be phasing out the old Boeing 737 and CRJ fleet and the same will be replaced by newer 737 aircraft which will improve operating performance further,” comments Jet Airways.

CAO understands that the first CRJ aircraft is coming out of the fleet next month while the final aircraft is expected to leave by the end of this year.

The 737-300 and the 737-400 are on lease from AWAS and, according to Flight’s ACAS database, are on lease until May and June this year. One 737-800 is leased from Nomura Babcock & Brown until April 2010. Other lessors includes Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing for two 737-700s and two 737-800s, Tombo for one 737-800, Aviation Capital group for 737-800, CIT Aerospace for two 737-700s, ILFC for two 737-700s and two 737-800s and GAAM for one 737-700 aircraft.
JetLite reported a 39 million rupees ($800,000) net profit in the three-months’ period to 31 December 2009 compared with a 220 million rupees net loss in the 2008 corresponding period.

“JetLite performance has also shown a turnaround in operating performance. JetLite is still achieving higher yields as compared to other low fare operators as is Jet Airways Konnect despite achieving high levels of seat factors,” comments Jet Airways.