Mihin Lanka’s 737-800 : Yet another controversy ?
It was recently reported that Mihin Lanka ( IATA : MJ ), under the management of Raja Edirisuriya, would resume operations to Dubai, Malé and Trivandrum from December 15th with a Boeing 737-800 leased from French lessor.
According to a recent article in The Island, a Sri Lankan newspaper, the 737 is just four months old and will be leased from a company called ‘ Trans Avia France FAS ‘.
With the happiness of a new aircraft touching down CMB, I searched caa.lk’s online Sri Lanka Aircraft Registry and since it was not there ( like I guessed ), proceeded on to Google a bit about this ‘ Trans Avia France FAS ‘.
It appears likely that the company is ‘ Transavia France ‘, a small French regional airline owned by Air France ( 60% ) and Transavia.com ( 40% ).
This is where things become interesting.
Transavia France ( IATA : TO ), is a small operator, and as it should be, operates a fleet of seven 737NG aircraft, which have been LEASED from other companies.
The youngest 737-800 in their fleet is F-GZHE ( 29678 ln 2615 ), LEASED FROM Babcock and Brown Aircraft Management group, a six months old aircraft.
Pictured is F-GZHE
The 737-8K2 type aircraft, first flew on 06/05/2008 and was delivered on 20/05/2008.
The aircraft leased by MJ is scheduled to touch down at CMB on 10th December . It would be on a wet lease for the first three months and dry leased then. The rate paid per hour in the wet leased period is $2800, which is not too high.
And personally, I’m really happy if it’s F-GZHE, since its a winglet equipped aircraft which results in many barrels of fuel savings against the regular 737.
Since TO is a small operator and they have only leased the aircraft and are not the owners of them, they may not have the ability to re-lease the aircraft – which may be the reason for a wet lease.
Mihin Lanka ( Pvt ) Ltd. is a government owned company with a Rs. 6 billion budget allocation.
So, does it mean that MJ is going to lease an aircraft from Babcock A.B.M or is this a yet another Mihin Lanka controversy story ? Or have I made any mistake ?
I’ll be glad to hear an explanation from a MJ official.