Jet Airways has leased four new Airbus A330-200s for delivery in 2006 and 2007 to complement its new fleet of three A340-300 Enhanced. Chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer says the decision to again opt for Airbus does not rule out future Boeing widebody acquisitions as the carrier continues to evaluate 250-seat and 350-seat aircraft, including ultra-long-range options.
"You can't draw a conclusion that we are going with Airbus long term," he says. "We definitely will have more than seven widebodies. This is not the end of our expansion. It's a step-by-step approach."
Rival Air Sahara is also evaluating Airbus and Boeing widebodies and wants to lease three aircraft by year-end and three to four next year. Chief executive Rono Dutta says he is negotiating potential deals for A330s and 777-300ERs and claims there are aircraft in these categories available in time to support the planned September launch of a daily New Delhi-London Heathrow service.
Jet, which until now has operated only ATR turboprops and Boeing 737s, had to settle for A340-300s leased from South African Airways because it could not find Boeing 777s available for immediate lease (Flight International, 15-21 February). Prock-Schauer says the A330-200s – to be delivered from May 2006 and leased from International Lease Finance – will be used to upgrade routes to South-East Asia and to launch further services to Europe.
Source: Flight International