India’s Jet Airways is expected to order more than 100 narrow-body aircraft for up to USD$3.75 billion in 2012/13 as it grabs market share from its troubled rivals.
The airline is understood to be actively evaluating Airbus’s narrow-body A320 aircraft, and is likely to lease up to 10 A330s to support expansion of its European network, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in a report.
“In my estimate, at the current price and without taking into account the list price, the actual price for the order could be USD$3.5 billion to USD$3.75 billion,” Kapil Kaul, regional head of CAPA, told reporters.
India’s aviation sector has been beset by high costs of fuel and airport charges and heavy debt, with all carriers except unlisted Indigo Airlines posting losses in the fiscal year that ended in March.
With two debt-ridden carriers, Kingfisher Airline and Air India, curtailing most of their flights Jet stands to benefit the most, CAPA said.
Kingfisher, owned by flamboyant drinks baron Vijay Mallya, has been struggling to pay off a USD$1.3 billion loan and has slashed the number of its daily flights.
State-owned Air India, which survives on government bailout, has cancelled most of its international flights because of a continuing strike by its pilots.
“Kingfisher’s dramatic contraction from 66 to 16 operational aircraft, of which half are regional ATR aircraft, has left the domestic business market open for Jet Airways,” CAPA said.
The disruption at Air India’s long-haul routes has driven North American and UK traffic to Jet, it said.
Jet and other private carriers such as SpiceJet and unlisted Go Air and Indigo are likely to post a combined profit of USD$200 million in the fiscal year ending next March, the consultancy said.
However, losses at Kingfisher and Air India will keep the industry in the red to the tune of USD$1.3 billion to USD$1.4 billion in 2012/13, compared with a total industry loss of USD$2 billion in the previous year, CAPA said.