MUMBAI, Apr 21: Air India Express, the
international budget arm of Air India, is examining the
possibility of leasing some Boeing 737 aircraft of grounded
carrier Jet Airways, which are parked at different airports
due to non-payment, through a firm decision is yet to be
taken, a top company official said Sunday.
Before halting operations temporarily mid-last week
due to severe cash-drought, the private carrier was forced to
ground 69 planes owing to non-payment of rentals to lessors.
Later, on April 16, it grounded the rest of the planes
in its fleet, when it decided to temporarily suspend all its
domestic and international services.
Air India Express parent, Air India, is already
discussing a proposal to lease five of Jet Airways wide-body
planes, Boeing 777s.
“We are looking at leasing (B737 of Jet Airways)
aircraft but there is no firm decision on this issue so far.
As a matter-of-fact, there are a lot of other things that have
to be looked at, like slots, sectors and timings, among
others,” Air India Express chief executive officer Shyam K
Sunder said over phone from Kochi, the airline’s
When asked about the number of planes that his airline
could induct from Jet Airways, he said, “We don’t have a
Air India Express, has its operations largely out of
Kerala to the Gulf and South-east Asia. Besides, it also
operates some flights to these regions from North and Western
India as well as on some domestic routes.
It has a fleet of 25 Boeing 737 planes, of which 17
are owned and rest 18 are on lease. The now out-of operations,
Jet Airways also has B737s in the fleet.
Shyam Sunder also said the airline plans to recruit 50
commanders from Jet Airways, of which 20 have already been
“We have already recruited a lot of pilots. We have
about 20 of them already, all from Jet Airways as at present
only Jet pilots are available in the market. Our intention is
hire up to 50 pilots. So we will be inducting another 25-30
pilots going forward,” he said.
The AIE official, however, ruled out hiring of first
officers at this stage, adding that the airline may look at it
if there was any requirement for them in the future. (PTI)