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Jet Airways orders 10 Airbus 300/200 aircraft, 10 more on cards



14 June, 2005, Paris: Jet Airways is embarking on its ambitious fleet acquisition programme to spread its wings internationally despite a set back to its US operations. Indiaís largest private airliner announced on the sidelines of the Paris air show that it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for 10 Airbus 300/200 aircraft, with options to purchase 10 more.

Jet announced on its web site that of the 20 aircraft which it would add to its kitty, six would be B777-200LR Worldliners, four B777 300ERs and ten Next-Generation B737-800s. The B777s would be operated as non-stop flights to US, it is expected to be delivered by the end of next year, while the B737ís will be delivered in early 2006, the company said. 

As per the deal, the deliveries of the aircraft would begin in first quarter of 2007, Jet said.
Even before that JE would get an Airbus A330, as apart of the lease agreement with ILFC, scheduled on May next year.

Jet had recently acquired 3 airbus 340/300 aircraft for its Mumbai-London service. Company sources said Jet is pleased with its performance and hence the top brass is pitching in for more Airbus aircraft. 

Jet, which has flights to 47 destinations, has one of the youngest average fleet age of 4.6 years. A company announcement said it has flown over 53 million passengers so far. Jet started operations in 1993, with a fleet of four Boeing 737-300 aircraft. Currently, Jet has a fleet of 36 Boeing 737-400/700/800/900 aircraft, 3 A340-300 E aircraft and 8 modern ATR72-500 Turboprop aircraft.

The airliner had come out with an Initial Public Offering earlier this year to fund its ambitious acquisition programme, in a bid to emerge as a key player in international routes. There were charges that Jet was granted certain international routes to boost its IPO, but Indiaís Civil Aviation ministry had denied it.

The airline had recently run into trouble with its US foray plans, after a namesake objected to granting it permission, charging it of having Al Qaeda and Dawood links. Jet has strongly denied the charges. Jet has engaged an American law firm Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Gasrrison to initiate legal proceedings on behalf of it. Martin London, the law firmís partner, would lead a battery of lawyers for the purpose.

Jet Airways, India's only listed private airline, which had floated an IPO for 1.72 crore shares of Rs. 10 each, constituting 20 per cent of the post issue capital, had raised Rs. 1,899 crore. Jet Airways scrip ended at Rs 1298.40 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday (June 14, 2005), up 0.5% from its previous close. 



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