Jet defers taking aircraft delivery

Jet defers taking aircraft delivery

Mumbai: Naresh Goyal-run private air carrier, Jet Airways, Saturday said it would defer taking delivery of aircraft by at least a year, but has not cancelled any aircraft order as yet.

“We have deferred our expansion plan and are postponing (taking) our aircraft deliveries by at least a year. We will be phasing out four B-737 aircraft and not replacing them," the company said in its outlook for the coming financial quarters.

The airline, which posted its biggest loss in three years (Rs384.5 crore in Q2 FY’09), however, said on expiry of all future leases, it would take a call on replacements around the lease expiry date.

Though oil prices have cooled down in the past few weeks, the company’s Q2 results were impacted by higher fuel prices, the airline said. Crude oil prices peaked at $147.27 per barrel on 11 July.

The average rate of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) for second quarter of FY’09 was 67.18 per litre, higher than rates in Q2 of fiscal 2008 by close to 69 per cent, and higher than rates in first quarter of FY’09 by 112%, it said.

The quarter ended 30 September as historically the weakest quarter of the year in terms of demand, Jet said, adding that it expects “the impact of the recent reduction in crude oil prices to be passed on to the industry in the ensuing quarter".

The depreciation of rupee from around Rs43 against the US dollar in Q1 to close to Rs47 in end-Q2 has also affected the company’s performance as nearly one-third of its operating expenses are in dollars, but only 15% of the revenue is in the same currency, the airline said.