Sunday, September 19, 2021

Jet Airways’ second innings may be a lot different from the first

India’s long-grounded airline, Jet Airways, could resume operations by the end of the first quarter of 2022, its new owners say.

In its second innings, following its bankruptcy in 2019, the country’s oldest private airline is set to fly again, first on major domestic routes, and then to foreign destinations by the second half of 2022. Jet’s first-ever flight since April 2019 will be from New Delhi to Mumbai, the company said in a press release on September 13.

“Jet Airways 2.0 aims at restarting domestic operations by Q1-2022, and short-haul international operations by Q3/Q4 2022,” said UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan, lead member of the London-based Jalan Kalrock Consortium and the proposed non-executive chairman of Jet Airways. Before the airline shut operations in 2019, it operated 600 domestic and 380 international routes.

Jet Airways ceased operations in April 2019 due to a massive financial crunch, and now, with its comeback in 2022, the airline will become the first-ever Indian carrier to be revived under the bankruptcy law.

Jet will now be headquartered in the greater Delhi metro region instead of Mumbai.

The new senior management of the airline will be working from its corporate office in Gurugram. However, the airline will continue to have a significant presence in Mumbai, where it has a “state-of-the-art” training centre, according to its acting CEO Sudhir Gaur.

In terms of planes, the airline will lease an all narrow-body aircraft fleet to restart its domestic operations. The airline says it is aiming to lease more than 50 aircraft in the next three years and more than 100 in five years to fulfil both its short-term and long-term business plans.

Earlier in June, Ashish Chhawchharia, head of restructuring services at Grant Thornton Advisory, which was appointed by the Kalrock-Jalan consortium, said the airline will initially operate on 20 routes, with 20 narrow-body aircraft and five wide-bodied planes. Since then, the consortium has been working closely with the relevant authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation, required airport infrastructure, and night parking.

19/09/21 Niharika Sharma,

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