Jet Airways, which was the preferred carrier for many Indians but was grounded in 2019 due to the paucity of funds, has been preparing for a restart. The airline went through a court-supervised bankruptcy proceeding in India, where creditors have had to take a 95% haircut on their credit to the organisation. Eventually, it was assigned to new ownership of a non-resident Indian entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan along with Kalrock Capital of London, commonly referred to as the Jalan Kalrock consortium.
As we earlier reported, the consortium has been working towards making key appointments and recently had Sanjiv Kapoor join as the CEO to lead the revival effort. In his first media interactions, he gave out some information that everyone was looking forward to knowing more about.
The new CEO has indicated that Jet Airways is very close to acquiring its Air Operators Permit, a requirement to operate a scheduled airline in India. Subsequent to receiving the AOP, the airline will have about six months to restart operations, so the first flight could be in October 2022 if everything works as per plan. The airline will start with leased aircraft due to the timelines involved in the restart but is closely looking at narrow-body aircraft from Boeing, Airbus as well as Embraer for its own orders. For the initial proving flight, which is mandatory for the grant of the license, the airline intends to use the leased 737NG aircraft which it already has experience in operating.
In terms of the business model, the airline is focussing on becoming a hybrid carrier, much like the US legacy carriers. Jet Airways will have a business class cabin with a full-service offering, including meals, while economy class will be limited to offering a seat and a baggage allowance, with other services being paid for.
Jet Airways will receive an initial investment of up to $180 million, out of which $ 60 million will be used to pay out creditors. The rest of the amount will be invested into the restart of operations.
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.