An Airbus A320neo aircraft is creating a significant buzz on social media and aviation websites for its paint job. While most Indians are familiar with its livery, nobody can claim to have seen it on an A320. The aircraft in question is an Airbus narrowbody sporting colors of soon-to-be-launched Jet Airways, further fueling long-standing speculation that the airline could look towards Airbus narrowbodies for its aircraft needs this time around.
A320 in Jet Airways’ livery
Images of an A320 airplane in Jet Airways livery are actively being circulated on social media. The aircraft is said to have rolled out after a fresh paint job, keeping all speculation alive that the airline will have Airbus narrowbodies in its fleet.
Planespotters.net lists the aircraft as previously being assigned to Russian carrier S7 Airlines, but it was ferried a few days back from Toulouse to Maastricht in the Netherlands for a fresh coat of paint.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Jet Airways is in talks with plane manufacturers and lessors to add up to 8 planes before 2023. Usually, there’s always a long waiting line for popular narrowbody aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, but Jet was said to be eying the planes which were to be delivered to Russian carriers before the Ukraine war.
A source familiar with the matter had told the Press Trust of India back then,
“Aircraft availability is always an issue but now due to the Russia-Ukraine war, aircraft which were to be delivered to Russia are also available in the market along with those leased planes which were flying in Russia.”
Jet is eyeing several narrowbody airplanes undelivered to Russian airlines. Photo: Airbus
A new sight
At its peak, Jet Airways operated a mixed fleet of Boeing 737, ATR turboprop, Airbus A330, and Boeing 777 airplanes. But it was the 737, which shouldered the bulk of its operations and defined the airline’s brand for the millions of passengers who flew the carrier over the years.
And now, to see the same colors (with minor differences) on an A320 is a sight many Indians, particularly av-geeks, will take some time to get used to.
Pilot hiring for the type
One of the first clues about Jet considering the A320 was when it posted a message on Twitter in July, inviting applications for current and type-rated pilots on the Airbus A320, Boeing 737NG, or the 737 MAX aircraft.
It was interesting to note that Jet had invited applications for pilots trained on both the 737 and the A320 family of airplanes, suggesting that it could begin its second stint with a mixed fleet.
The carrier is yet to announce any official order for aircraft, but rumor has it that it is close to finalizing a deal to buy 50 A220 jets from Airbus. But until an order is finalized, Jet will likely get a handful of leased airplanes for its immediate needs until it settles for a more uniform fleet later.
What was your first reaction after seeing an A320 in Jet’s livery? Please let us know in the comment section.