Last Updated: Feb 28, 2021, 2253 hrs IST
A330 entering Jet’s Fleet
The Airbus A330 was the first widebody aircraft owned by the carrier. Before the A330 joined its fleet in April 2007, the airline had only flown leased aircraft like the A340 or A300. In the year 2005 an order of 10 A330-200s was placed.
Jet Airways took delivery of four A330s each in 2007 and 2008 and completed its 10 aircraft order in 2009. Jet later exercised options for five more A330-200s. In 2012, the carrier also opted to lease four new A330-300s to expand its international capacity and replace older leased aircraft.
Leased out Aircraft
In 2012 and 2013, seven A330s left Jet Airways’ fleet for a new home (two later returned). These planes were not being retired but were on a sub-lease to Etihad Airways, which was in the process of buying 24% stake of Jet. Five planes eventually ended up with Etihad, which further leased them out to partner airlines like Air Seychelles and others.
As Jet Airways’ financial woes continued to grow, it took to leasing out more of its A330s (and 777s). Three A330-200s went to Turkish Airlines in early 2014. By 2015, the carrier was only operating eight A330s.
However, in early 2019, when it became clear that Jet Airways was about to collapse. Lessors moved quickly to repossess aircraft from Jet, with the first plane leaving in March, followed by two on April 10th.
After the airline formally grounded all flights on April 17th and the final lessors took two aircraft in May. Today, Jet Airways only owns two Airbus A330-200s.
A330 to fly again as Jet gets to the skies again
As mentioned earlier, the five planes that went to Etihad Airways permanently in 2012 have all found new homes. Two A330-200s have been leased to Fiji Airways since 2018, while another was leased to Etihad-backed Air Serbia. The final two A330s went to Alitalia in 2015, which were later retired in March 2020 due to the pandemic.
The three planes leased by Jet Airways to Turkish Airlines were later taken on lessor TrueAero in 2016. Turkish operated the planes for years until withdrawing two of them from use in 2019. The third aircraft continued flying until February 2020. Turkish returned two of these planes to the lessor in September 2020, while a third remains parked in Istanbul.
The A330s that were repossessed right before Jet’s bankruptcy have had a harder time finding homes. Two aircraft from lessor Altavair were retired and broken up last month, while two more from GECAS(a world-leading aviation lessor and financier) are currently stored in Tarbes. The final two leased A330s are due to go to Russia’s Nordwind Airlines from CDB Aviation.
While these planes may have been retired or leased out, Jet still has two more A330s in its fleet. With the carrier now in the process of returning to the skies, we may see more A330s in Jet Airways.