In an attempt at a relaunch, Indian carrier Jet Airways which shut operations in April 2019, carried out a test flight from Hyderabad airport and back to the same airport today in its new avatar.

Sources at the airline confirmed the test flight and added that the aircraft will now be positioned in Delhi for the proving flight that should happen in the coming days. The aircraft, a Boeing 737, which was used for the test flight was VT-SXE which is registered with Jet Airways. There were no passengers on the aircraft which was airborne for about one hour and 38 minutes.

Pilots described the test flight as a normal procedure when engines or certain kinds of work done on the airplane might require testing.

The airline has to conduct a minimum of five test flight sectors on intended routes with a  total duration of not less than 10 hours. These flights have to be completed within two to three days with officials of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) certification team, and a few people from the airline on the test flights before an Air Operator Certificate can be issued to the airline. Jet officials are expecting the airline to start commercial operations in the July-September quarter this year.

A consortium of Kalrock and Jalan is trying to revive the airline. In the run-up to the revival, Sanjiv Kapoor, took over as Chief Executive Officer of the airline in early April. Kapoor has earlier held key positions in SpiceJet and Vistara. Jet also roped in the former Chief Executive Officer, SriLankan Airlines, Vipula Gunatilleka as its Chief Financial Officer in March this year.

During its heydays in 2008,  the airline was the only Indian carrier to operate a daily flight on the Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco route.  In 2007, the airline launched its hub in Brussels which helped it connect onwards to the US and Canada. In the same year, the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad picked up a 24 percent stake in Jet for around $379 million. The airline had to stop operations in 2019 due to huge financial stress.

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Ashwini Phadnis
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