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April 21, 2024
Jet Airways was given the go-ahead to resume operations by India under new ownership earlier in 2021
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Jet Airways, which was once India’s most-loved private airline with significant operations around India, Europe, North America, the Middle East, and South-East Asia, closed down in April 2019 on the back of bankruptcy. Jet Airways was given the go-ahead to resume operations by India under new ownership earlier in 2021. The new owner of the airline is a Middle-East-based Indian businessman Murari Lal Jalan, and he has struck a partnership with London-based Kalrock, which describes itself as an asset manager. 

The older version of Jet Airways, which suspended operations in April 2019, left the new owner with 11 aircraft, a mix of Boeing 737 and 777s, and Airbus A330 aircraft. These aircraft may however be currently beyond repair, or not be an option to restart operations.

Jet Airways plans to resume operations in 2022

As per a statement received from Jet Airways’ new ownership in September 2021, the airline is set to resume domestic operations in 1Q22. The airline intends to operate its first flight between New Delhi and Mumbai, a route it commanded for the better part of over two decades of its existence. The airline has already hired over 150 people and is planning a move of the headquarters of the carrier from Mumbai to Delhi NCR. 

At the time, Jet Airways maintained that it will look at inducting 50 narrowbody aircraft in the first three years, and go up to a 100 aircraft fleet in five years. Having said that, they did not indicate a preference for the choice of the aircraft.  Turns out, the airline is still in discussion with both Boeing and Airbus for a 100-aircraft order, as per Bloomberg.

The Airbus A320neo family is sold out for several years, with Indian carrier IndiGo being the biggest customer for the aircraft family including the A320neo, A321neo, and the XLR (830 total orders, 279 delivered as of October 2021). Besides, there are many other narrowbody customers from India, including Vistara and GoFirst, which have current orders for the A320neo family aircraft with Airbus. 

Jet Airways was a Boeing customer, with 225-aircraft outstanding orders for the 737 MAX aircraft. The first five aircraft were delivered to Jet Airways via various leasing partners. The delivered 737 MAX airframes were flown out of the country after repossession during Covid19, with special permission from India’s DGCA to fly them out during the MAX grounding. 

Boeing may be amenable to re-look at the order, given they have some unclaimed Jet Airways aircraft in Renton, WA. Also, on the Boeing orders page, this 125 aircraft order still looks like on the books.

However, the plan to launch in 1Q22 still looks ambitious, given that not only will the airline need to hire flight operations and cabin crew and train them on the respective aircraft type, they will also have to go through the process of writing down operational manuals and getting regulatory approvals on those. In wake of their unpreparedness on these, it looks highly unlikely that we will see them operate a flight by March 2022. 

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Ajay Awtaney
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.

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