Premier private carrier Jet Airways is planning the sale and leaseback of 10 Boeing planes in the next few months, a senior official said on Friday.
“We are planning sale and leaseback of 10 aircraft. However, we are awaiting clearance from the courts on the issue,” Jet Airways Chief Commercial Officer Sudheer Raghavan told PTI in Mumbai.
Sale and leaseback is a financial transaction where one sells an asset and leases it back for medium or long-term. Thus, one continues to be able to use the asset but no longer owns it.
Mr. Raghavan said the airline has applied before the Mumbai High Court seeking its permission to enter into any sale and leaseback arrangement. The cases pertain to its dispute with Sahara India Commercial Corporation over the JetLite (erswhile Air Sahara) buyout deal of 2007.
Jet CEO Nikos Kardassis had on Thursday said, “We have been successful in adapting to market realities and have been able to lease out excess capacity for medium term. As of May end, all of our excess wide body aircraft would have been leased out.”
Mr. Raghavan, however, refused to divulge the funds that Jet planned to raise from the sale and lease back arrangement.
Currently, four of Jet’s planes are leased to Turkish Airlines and three to Thai Airways.
Commenting on Jet Airways performance, Mr. Raghavan said the airline had seen a 20 per cent jump in the premium class seat factor at 55 per cent between January and March this year as against 35 per cent between April and September last year.
“Our U.S. and U.K. routes have also done well with U.S. routes clocking an 84 per cent load factor and U.K. routes registering 90 per cent,” he said.
Jet Airways has posted a jump of 10.5 per cent in net profit to Rs 58.58 crore for the fourth quarter ended March 2010, against Rs 52.99 crore in the period a year ago.
Making a recovery from its losses caused by global recession and massive rise in jet fuel prices, the total income of the airline also rose to Rs 2,877.17 crore in the January-March of FY’10, from Rs 2,566.21 crore in the corresponding period last year.
However, for the full financial year ended March 31, Jet posted a net loss of Rs 467.64 crore, while the same was at Rs 402.34 crore during the previous fiscal.