Bulk of Jet's 330 fleet lying on the ground at Delhi. Copyright Devesh Agarwal.

Etihad Airways plans global flights using leased Jet Airways’ aircraft

Airline Route reports that Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways is planning to deploy wide body A330-200s and Boeing 777-300ERs it has leased from India’s Jet Airways on flights around the world in the Winter 2014 schedule which commences from October 26th. Etihad holds a 24% share in Jet.

Etihad plans to deploys Jet’s A330-200s on:

  • Abu Dhabi – Johannesburg as EY604 and EY603
  • Abu Dhabi – Lagos as EY671 and EY672
  • Abu Dhabi – Kuala Lumpur as EY416 and EY413, until January 31, 2015*
  • Abu Dhabi – Hyderabad route flights EY274 and EY275 effective February 1, 2015
  • Abu Dhabi – Riyadh as EY317 and EY318, effective February 1, 2015

The Boeing 777-300ERs leased from Jet will be deployed on:

  • Abu Dhabi – Dhaka as EY258 and EY253, six times a week
  • Abu Dhabi – New York JFK as EY103 and EY102
  • Abu Dhabi – New Delhi as EY224 and EY223, effective November 18, 2014
  • Abu Dhabi – San Francisco as EY183 and EY182 effective November 18, 2014
  • Abu Dhabi – Kuala Lumpur as EY418 and EY411, effective February 1, 2015*

*Abu Dhabi Kuala Lumpur route will be upgraded from a two-class A330-200 to a three class Boeing 777-300ER.

Jet’s inability to effectively utilise its wide-body fleet is long known. For most of 2013, much of its A330-200 fleet was sitting on the ground at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi airport, while the airline has been leasing out up to seven of its ten Boeing 777-300ERs to Gulf Air (see photo), Turkish Airlines and Thai Airways (see photos of Jet’s 777s in Turkish Airlines livery). Now that both Turkish and Thai are receiving their own 777-300ERs, they are returning the leased aircraft to Jet who now has to rely on Etihad to utilise these aircraft.

Even today, Jet Airways effectively keeps one 777-300ER grounded by parking two 777s from early morning to late night at Hong Kong airport, as they are “unable to better utilise the aircraft”.

It is indeed a sad commentary on aircraft that were voted as having the best First Class service in the world by Business Traveller in 2008. But at least these beauties are finding a second lease of life in the desert sands.

Click here to see photos of the Jet Airways Boeing 777-300ER first and business class cabins.

The above schedules and deployments are subject to change.


About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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  1. How are Jet’s 777w aircraft flying AUH-SFO non-stop? Weren’t the first class seats too heavy to fly to the US non-stop?

  2. That should improve Jet’s profitability and provide ETIHAD with a better return on its investment in addition to immediate availability of aircraft in a tight market allowing them to expand.

  3. Certainly exposes weakness on the part of Indian operators, private or state owned, in not being able to make effective use of the hardware. This would not have been as newsworthy otherwise!

  4. AVeryNewAviationGeek

    I hope they must be utilizing their 737’s wisely considering they fly everywhere within India, to Gulf, to Singapore to Bangkok and more. But, if this is already the case with their wide-bodies right now, what happens to the 20 787-9’s Jet has ordered? Will they be replacing current fleet? Or they will extend their network or upgrade from 737 to a bigger aircraft? Or just lease all of them out to Etihad or someone?

    • AVeryNewAviationGeek

      And I just checked, they have 10 more 777’s and 1 more 330 on order, besides the 20 787’s. That is 31 new wide bodies on order!! It will be exciting if they use it properly.

      • Both the 777’s and the 787s are massively in demand aircraft. Since jet cannot utilize it’s existing widebody fleet, they should just sell the delivery slots, there are enough airlines to buy the slots at a premium.