Jet Airways grounds 4 widebody airframes temporarily

Jet Airways has a fleet of 18 widebody aircraft, which have been deployed across their international network going to Canada as far out on one side, and Hong Kong on the other side. This fleet is a mix of Airbus A330s (200s and 300s) and the Boeing 777-300ERs. For the record, Jet Airways still has an order of 10 787s from Boeing, but it has been repeatedly postponed.

Out of this fleet of 18 aircraft, four widebody aircraft have been out of service currently. Only one of these is accounted for. One of Jet Airways’ A330-300s, VT-JWR, is in Amman, Jordan, since October 1, 2018, for heavy maintenance. Amman is indeed 9W’s maintenance base, so that adds up.

But, other stuff does not. Look at this:

  • VT-JWS, an Airbus A330-300 is parked at Chennai airport since October 2, 2018, after it operated a flight between Delhi & Chennai.
  • VT-JWQ, an Airbus A330-200 last flew Hong Kong to Mumbai on October 5, 2018, and has been parked at Mumbai Airport since then.
  • VT-JEX, a Boeing 777-300ER flew to Chennai and is parked since September 29, 2018.

We also had someone spot a picture of the stored aircraft at Chennai, who put it up on Twitter.

We don’t know what is happening with those planes, but something is not right. After all, a plane makes money in the air, not on the ground. Interestingly, all the Airbus A330s out of service are leased. So Jet Airways is paying monthly lease without operating the aircraft.

So why send the aircraft to Chennai when the airline’s hangars are at Mumbai and Delhi? I guess the Chennai airport has more space at the moment. 9W might be priming up VT-JWQ (Airbus A330-200) before the new Mumbai-Manchester route will be launched from November 5, 2018.

Jet Airways has stated that one Airbus A330 is undergoing scheduled engine changes, without mentioning which tail number and where. It might as well be VT-JWQ having an engine swap at Mumbai airport since Jet Airways has a maintenance base at Mumbai.

So how is Jet Airways managing the routes that were operated by these aircraft? Jet Airways was operating Airbus A330s on their domestic metro routes such as Delhi to Mumbai (6 times daily Airbus A330 flights), Kolkata and Chennai, which have been replaced by the Boeing 737s.

Jet Airways Mumbai – Singapore and Mumbai – Doha routes were operated by an Airbus A330 as well, which are now flown by a mix of Boeing 737, 77Ws and Airbus A332s. The Hong Kong flights also see a mix of A332s and B77Ws aircraft. Mumbai – Damman and Delhi – Doha routes are downgauged from A332s to 737s.

Jet Airways was trying to wet lease 3 of their A330s to Oman Air, but we don’t know why we haven’t heard that deal being closed in the past month. Reportedly, the deal would have brought close to a million dollars a month for each Airbus A330 leased out.


Jet Airways is in the eye of the storm, so they do need more than luck to get out of the storm. SpiceJet came back from their groundings back in the day. Air India, on the other hand, has grounded 4 Boeing 77Ws  and close to 20% of their narrowbody fleet for lack of spares which is a result of lack of money to buy them. As it is they don’t need those aircraft.

I’m sure that Jet Airways must have had a good reason or a great reason to have not done much with those aircraft, but I can’t figure out why are they on the ground in Chennai. Peak season, after all, is here. What do you think is happening?


  1. This has resulted in Del Mum & Mum Delhi 9W 353 & 9W362 which were till recently A330s getting converted to B737 in peak season . While the business class folks used to criticise this flight comparing it to Emirates or Singapore Air. In Economy it was a best product in the SKY in India other than the AirIndia 787 & 777 flights . I used to look forward to traveling Mum Del by A330 or by any wide body air craft. May look to change to Air India or Vistara now. Note : I am Platinum on Jet and stay at Mumbai.

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