One of the key issues hurting Indian Aviation at times where Fuel Prices is the critical factor that can kill aviation business completely in India.
During such times, ATR-72 are proving to be cancer on the balance sheet. The Airlines in the name of having more routes but less capacity decided to employ ATR-72.
This is very smart move as to remove ATR from the roster and focus on single type of aircraft. This is a great learning from Indigo.
For those who don’t know what I am talking about :-
What is ATR-72 Plane?
The ATR 72 is a twin-engine turboprop used for short-haul flights. The plane is developed and produced France and Italy by aircraft manufacturer ATR (Aerei da Trasporto Regionale or Avions de transport régional), a joint venture formed by French aerospace company Airbus and Italian aviation conglomerate Leonardo S.p.A. The number “72” in its name is derived from the aircraft’s standard seating configuration in a passenger-carrying configuration, which could seat 72–78 passengers in a single-class arrangement.
Jet Airways owns 18 such planes. 90% of Jet Airways planes are Boeing 737 (with variants of 700,800 and 900).
ATR 72 vs Boeing 737 planes?
- Cruise speed: 510 km/h (317 mph; 275 kn) TAS
- Range: 1,528 km for 70 passengers @95 kgs
- Service ceiling: 7,600 m (25,000 ft)
- Fuel consumption: 1.49 kg/km (5.3 lb/mi)
Boeing 737 (700-900 Range)
- Cruise speed: 838 km/hr (453 kn)
- Range: 5,436–5,575 km for 150 passengers @95 kg
- Service ceiling: 12500 m (41,000 ft)
- Fuel consumption: 3.21 kg/km – 3.68 kg/km
ATR planes had been sold in India since 1999, but it was Air Deccan’s turboprops that connected the remotest corners of the country. While ATRs and Bombardier aircraft have been used by Jet Airways, SpiceJet and earlier by Kingfisher Airlines, it was in 2015 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the Civil Aviation Ministry to improve connectivity to small towns. The ministry has framed an aviation policy that incentivizes airlines that ply these routes.
Problem with ATR
It makes sense for ATR when a runway is small and we are connecting a remote town where passenger load isn’t high. However, connecting passenger to big metros is plain foolishness as it is less preferred by passengers as the flight takes longer to travel, makes more noise and acts more choppy during turbulence than a bigger aircraft. From the airline point, it is harder to acquire parts and maintain such planes. They consume more fuel during takeoff and landing. ATRs carry fewer passengers but take longer to taxi and pushback. Hence, the Aviation Authority of India (AAI) is planning to remove ATR completely from the main airports such as Mumbai and Delhi where traffic control is already an issue.
Jet Airways chopping ATR 72 routes
- Bengaluru to Chennai (reducing from 49x weekly (43x weekly ATR72 flights) to 26x weekly flights (20x weekly operated by ATR)
- Bengaluru to Hyderabad (from 3x daily to 2x daily from Feb 9 then 1x daily from March 31)
- Jaipur to Chandigarh
- Vadodara to Indore
- Vadodara to Jodhpur
I believe Indore-Jodhpur, Indore- Ahmedabad would soon be on chopping block.
North-East Expansion canceled
In March 2018, Jet Airways was big on North East expansion and Guwahati became a huge hub. However, that is going back to old ways.
Jet Airways is going to do another round of station consolidations in February 2018. As a result, they will be shutting down 7 domestic stations. Here are the routes that will get cut next year early
- New Delhi to Jorhat from February 10 (launched March 2018)
- Mumbai to Jorhat from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- Guwahati to Jorhat from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- New Delhi to Aizawl from February 10 (launched March 2018)
- Guwahati to Aizawl from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- Kolkata to Aizawl from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- New Delhi to Silchar from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- Guwahati to Silchar from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- Guwahati to Imphal from February 9 (launched March 2018)
- Mumbai to Vishakhapatnam from February 8
- Mumbai to Madurai from February 8
- Mumbai to Raipur from February 8
- New Delhi to Raipur from February 12
- Delhi to Khajuraho from March 31
Few more chops
- Mumbai to Kozhikode from February 7 reducing to 4x weekly (1,3,5,7) and going back to daily from March 30
- Mumbai to Kochi reducing from 21x weekly to 18x weekly (9W 2407 won’t operate on 2,4,6)
- No international flights operating from Kerala anymore.
- Sharjah has been eliminated as destination
- Jet Airways is going to add a second daily Boeing 737 rotation on the New Delhi to Dammam route from March 31, 2,019 with the following schedule.
9W 518 DEL 2325 – 0100 (+1 day) DMM 737 D
9W 517 DMM 0200 – 0825 DEL 737 D
Economy ticket starts at INR 14k one way and Business Class starts at INR 32k one way.