44 planes from Jet Airways fleet have been de-registered. Further, applications have been submitted by lessors to de-register 11 more.
Jet Airways continues to lose its fleet even as speculation abounds if suitors will put in a bid.
As per information from industry regulator DGCA, 44 planes from Jet Airways' fleet have been de-registered and there are applications by lessors to de-register 11 more.
At 55, the list of de-registered aircraft is nearing the half-way mark of the airline's total fleet of 119 aircraft.
Once de-registered with an industry regulator, these aircraft can be taken out of the country by lessors and leased out to other airlines.
Jet Airways, which owes about Rs 9,000 crore to banks, had also defaulted on its lease payments to lessors. The airline owns 16 aircraft while the rest of its fleet is leased.
"De-registering means the leases are over. But a new owner can always negotiate and get them back. There is no bar on that, but for now, they are the property of the aircraft owner," says Nitin Sarin, Managing Partner of Sarin & Co, which specialises in aviation law.
Sarin said a new owner of Jet Airways can lease these aircraft back by clearing the arrears. "The amount of arrears depend on the deal struck. The new owner could clear full or part of the arrears. It's a private contract/agreement between two commercial parties. So they can agree to whatever they desire as long as it's not illegal," added Sarin.
At the same time, industry observers point out that a new owner can take back the aircraft only if these haven't been leased out to other airlines in the meantime. For instance, some of the recent additions to SpiceJet's fleet have come from Jet Airways.
Jet Airways fleet depletion comes amidst worries that the airline, shed of its assets, may not get an attractive bid from its suitors. Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and NIIF were shortlisted by SBI Caps. They have to submit bids by May 10.On Tuesday, the government assured that the allocation of Jet Airways' airport slots to its rivals is only for three months. The government plans to give away 440 of Jet Airways slots. These are precious assets for a company, and their absence will dim chances of a bid.