A senior Boeing company official Thursday met Jet Airways management amid reports of the loss-making private carrier returning some of the leased planes to the lessors and looking to defer some future deliveries.
Media reports suggest that Jet Airways is returning eight Boeing 737 aircraft to its lessors and delaying induction of new planes following a severe cash drought. "I am going to meet them today," Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president, Asia Pacific and India sales at Boeing Commercial Airplanes said when his attention was drawn towards the news reports. Notably, the Naresh Goyal-promoted private carrier, which is partially owned by the UAE national carrier Etihad, is a major customer of Boeing, having placed a massive order for 225 latest single-aisel 737MAX planes.
Besides, the US aircraft maker also has another 10 dreamliner 787 planes in its order book from Jet Airways.
Keskar also said that as far as the Boeing was concerned, it always sells the planes to the lessors. Since the SLB (sales and lease back) is done in advance, “we deliver the planes to the lessor, who has already purchased the plane," he said. Under the SLB arrangement, the seller of an asset leases it back from the purchaser for a long-term period and continues to use it without actually owning it.
The practice is prevalent largely in Indian carriers. "We are delivering the planes as per plans," he said adding that the Jet Airways order for 10 B787 planes continue to stand in its order books, without changes or any cancellations.
Jet Airways is struggling to keep afloat in a market, which has already seen four smaller airlines going belly up in the last four years.