Jet Airways is ready to commence domestic operations, according to the Jalan Kalrock Consortium, the successful resolution applicant of Jet Airways. The Indian airline suspended operations in April 2019 after it ran out of funds. The Consortium has approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), the bankruptcy court where Jet Airways’ new owner was decided, to fast track the implementation of the Approved Resolution Plan by infusing fresh capital in Jet Airways. Consortium commits to funding and reviving Jet Airways.
The Consortium has stated that they want to commence payments to all stakeholders including ex-employees, workmen, ticket claimants, and lenders of Jet Airways as per the plan approved by the NCLT in June. In its latest filing before the NCLT, the Consortium has intimated today December 22 as its plan “effective date” and seeks to forthwith implement the plan as approved by NCLT last June.
Elaborating further, Mr. Murari Lal Jalan, Lead Member of the Consortium and proposed promoter and Non-Executive Chairman of Jet Airways, said: “We are excited to embark on the next phase of the revival of India’s most loved airline. We at JKC await the Hon’ble NCLT’s decision on our last filing and look forward to recommencing operations of Jet Airways at the earliest.”
Jalan further clarified that “the Consortium is ready with its investments. Given the progress the team has made operationally since NCLT Approval in June, we feel it is time to fund the company immediately for the revival of the business, without delay”. He reiterated that “we are aiming to start domestic operations at the earliest in 2022 as a full-service carrier and look forward to creating history with Jet Airways revival.”
Fleet to grow to 100+ in five years
Speaking on his plans of revival and fleet type of Jet Airways 2.0, Florian Fritsch of Kalrock Capital Partners and partner of Jalan in Jet Airways said: “I am totally aligned with Mr. Jalan and his vision for Jet Airways. I feel the people of India deserve Jet Airways to come back and our teams are working tirelessly to ensure its revival.” Fritsch clarified that “the decision to invest in Jet Airways has been well thought off by me and Mr. Jalan and we both feel that now is the time that next steps of plan implementation be complied with as per orders of the NCLT.”
On the fleet type, Florian Fritsch said: “Jet Airways will commence its operations in 2022 with six narrow-body aircraft and reach 100+ aircraft fleet as a five-year plan. Even with an aggressive expansion strategy, Jet Airways intends to be an ESG compliant aviation company.” This confirms earlier remarks from Jalan about the fleet plans and a potential order for 100 aircraft.
On his relationship with Jalan and future plans of the Consortium, Florian Fritsch said: “I am very fond of Mr. Jalan. He is a true visionary who wants to maintain a low profile but has big plans. It was his idea to invest in Jet Airways and Kalrock is glad to have partnered with him on this transaction. We are also exploring other business opportunities together in the Indo-Pacific region and in Eastern Europe”.
On the revalidation of its existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC), the Consortium clarified that the process of revalidation was initiated in August within days of receiving the NCLT approval, and the process has now been fast-tracked. The Consortium is confident of receiving the AOC in the coming months and will start operations soon thereafter. It said: “We are in regular touch with the DGCA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation to have Jet’s AOC revalidated and we thank the authorities for their continued support. Jet Airways has an existing AOC valid until 2023, which was only suspended in 2019 due to the financial health of the company then. The current process taken up is towards removing the suspension and therefore the time required for getting the AOC revalidated will be substantially lesser in comparison to obtaining fresh AOC by a new company”.
Multiple discussions on airport slots
On slots at key airports, including Delhi and Mumbai, the Consortium clarified that it is working closely with the relevant authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation, required airport infrastructure, and night parking and is confident to get the initial slots required to commence operations. “We have held multiple rounds of discussions with all key airports which form part of the initial network plan and are confident to get the required slots in the Summer schedule of 2022.”
Speaking on operational details and manpower engagement, the Consortium said: “Jet Airways is a brand which has grown bigger and stronger over the last two decades and people are excited to join and work for Jet Airways. The company has received more than 35.000 applications across job categories and the team is shortlisting candidates as per its business requirements. Jet Airways 2.0’s new corporate office is in Gurugram and the Consortium is looking for a bigger office in Delhi NCR to house the entire team in one office.”
On senior management hirings, the Consortium said that “most of the senior management positions as per our approved organization structure has been filled and the Consortium will introduce the entire senior management team to all stakeholders soon. The Consortium is ready with the required capital and has applied to the NCLT for the necessary approvals to start capital infusion in Jet Airways for further implementation of the plan approved by Hon’ble NCLT in June 2021.”
Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe.