Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Jet’s 2nd coming will depend on reclaiming slots

New Delhi: Getting its slots given to other Indian carriers back will be a key factor in Jet Airways taking to the skies again under new owners. While the airline had over 600 daily departures from and within India till late 2018, the consortium will soon seek an assurance from aviation authorities about getting slots back as per requirement as Jet-2.0 ramps up operations. If things go as according to plan, Jet-2.0 could have a fleet of 65-70 aircraft in three years, of which a fourth will be wide body and the rest narrow body.

“The airline has 12 aircraft on its books, nine wide body and three narrow body Boeing 737-800. Of the nine wide body, a B777 was seized in Amsterdam (over non-payment of dues to local agencies) and an Airbus A330 has been leased to Air Serbia till next May. So 10 aircraft are in India and the consortia’s plan is to restart the airline with a few additional narrow body planes in the next six months once the NCLT approval and slot assurance comes,” Ashish Chhawchharia, resolution professional (RP) for Jet, told TOI on Monday.

The winning consortia, London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE businessman Murari Lal Jalan, are likely to initially put in Rs 400 crore and infuse about Rs 650 crore in all in the first year for Jet-2.0 to take to the skies again. Jet-1.0 was grounded on April 18, 2019. In first two to three years, an investment of about Rs 2,000 crore will come from the consortia and cash flow is also expected to resume with ticket sales once the airline starts flying again.

“In three years, the consortia expects to have a substantially sizeable operation in India, comprising of wide body and narrow body aircraft. Resuming international operations will also hopefully not take too long once the airline starts flying again as the narrow body planes can be used for going to neighbouring countries,” Chhawchharia said.

20/10/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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