Erstwhile Jet Airways had a long-haul fleet that was ahead of its time. The airline had invested in 10 Boeing 777 ER aircraft and also put some top of the line products on the plane, which, in some cases, was very heavy and making the aircraft uneconomical when the economy changed.
Unfortunately, many of these aircraft that Jet Airways owned are stuck at airports all across India, reminding us of the sad state of affairs the airline is undergoing while it is being resurrected. One of these aircraft got stuck in Amsterdam at Schipol Airport a few days before the airline was grounded, as it was impounded for the non-payment of dues to a Dutch party which Jet Airways had been contracted.
As the Jet Airways administration continued at a slow pace, there were two deals talked about. One of them was about Jet Airways’ making a bullet payment of USD 13 Million and acquiring the Boeing 777 aircraft still in its name (it had earlier taken a long-term financing arrangement where they would eventually own the planes. Hence these were not flown away by a lessor earlier).
The second was about Jet Airways’ Amsterdam operations being sold to KLM for a bargain in early 2020. This included all sorts of stuff, including the office space and the aircraft which was parked there. The deal seems to have not gone through as there was nothing about a new 77W aircraft in the KLM fleet, and the pandemic may have played a role in the situation.
Now, Jet Airways has informed that they have sold the aircraft (VT-JEW) for just USD 9 Million to a Florida, USA based LLC called IAGCAS 777, LLC as a part of the bankruptcy proceedings ongoing in The Netherlands. The proceeds will allow for Jet Airways’ insolvency process in the NL to come to a close, and after paying out the Dutch Creditors, if any money remains, it will be sent to India. Here is the communication from the airline in this regard.
The ‘list’ price for a new Boeing 777-300ER is about USD 354 Million, but usually, these aircraft get sold at about 50-60% of the price after customary discounts. Not just that, one needs to pay for all the add-ons inside as well, such as the First Class seats separately. A jet of that pedigree is built for 25-30 years in service, and this one only had 14 years on the clock so far. The poor maintenance record might have depreciated the value even further.
Will VT-JEW fly again?
Maybe not. One of the earlier Jet Airways 777 aircraft, VT-JEK, was flowing out from Mumbai after a year and a half of grounding and was taken to Tulepo, Mississippi. The acquirer intended to part out the airframe. Each component could go on a different 777 aircraft or just be sold. Since this aircraft’s maintenance state, VT-JEW, is unknown (which is a bad thing, perhaps!), this aircraft might also suffer the same fate since the market for heavy jets is not so great right now.
The aircraft has some nice engines, the GE90s, which could fetch a reasonable price after maintenance. But on an overall basis, the meager price the aircraft got sold for also accounts for the fact that it would cost money even to fly the plane perhaps again.
The Dutch administrator has sold off one of their Boeing 77W aircraft parked in Schipol to a US-based company for a paltry sum of USD 9 Million, who will perhaps be able to part out the aircraft or make a surprise decision might even restore it.
As this transaction goes through, we still wait to hear more about the resurrection of Jet Airways in its new ownership?
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