Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Jet Airways open to flying again on alternate slots; may employ 50-75 people per aircraft

Jet Airways is getting a plan in place to resume operations flights and may start operations within six months of approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), CNBC-TV18 has learnt.

NCLT concluded Jet Airways’ resolution plan hearings submitted by a consortium of Kalrock Capital and Murari Lal Jalan and reserved its order on June 18.

While clarity on Jet Airways slots is likely to emerge with the National Company Law Tribunal order, the airline has indicated to the court and the regulator that it is open to alternate slots with a margin of 15 minutes plus or minus on an average if the requirement for a slot cannot be met on account of non-availability, CNBC-TV18 has learnt.

Jet Airways was the oldest private airline in India when it shut operations in Apr 2019 due to a severe scarcity of funds. The resolution process for the 25-year-old airline began in NCLT in June 2019.  Under the resolution process, Jalan-Kalrock Consortium emerged as the winning bidder for Jet Airways.

"The government has indicated that they want Jet Airways to revive. The interpretation for slots is subject to judicial review right now. The airline's current ask is for a right, not for a slot. If it gets the right, it can work with the regulator for a slot," a person aware of the matter said.

The airline is also getting its fleet plan in place as it aims to reinstate its position as a full-service carrier, another source said.

It is important to note here that the existing fleet of Jet Airways includes 11 aircraft, which are owned by the airline. However, these have been grounded for over two years now.

Rather than reinstating the old fleet comprising of B777, B737 and A330s, CNBC-TV18 has learnt that the airline plans to retire the entire existing fleet and replace it with new fuel-efficient aircraft which it plans to take on lease. The new fleet is expected to again be a combination of Airbus and Boeing planes, sources said.

Once the NCLT order is approved, the airline's current plan is to resume flights within six months, sources said, adding that the airline aims to have a 30-aircraft fleet including 25 narrow-body aircraft and five wide-body planes.

While the investment strategy for the airline is not known yet, CNBC-TV18 has learnt that the airline has a five-year plan in place whereby it aims to add aircraft to its fleet on an annual basis. Discussions with Airbus and Boeing continue simultaneously, sources said.

21/06/21 Anu Sharma/CNBC TV18

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