After missing several re-launch deadlines, including the latest on March 22, Jet Airways 2.0 is now on track to restart operations by the July-September quarter, its new promoters said.
The Jalan-Kalrock consortium of promoters led by a Dubai-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan said restart activities of the airline, which stopped operations three years ago due to financial woes, are moving smoothly. The consortium has obtained an extension for reviving the airline after the last deadline ended on March 22, 2022.
The newly appointed chief executive of Jet Airways 2.0 Sanjiv Kapoor said he is hopeful of launching the revamped airline by the July-September quarter.
By the April end, the airline’s management hopes to operate proving flights using a leased Boeing 737 aircraft and expects to get the AOC (air operators certificate) revalidated by early May.
The new management is working closely with India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the approval process and timelines for proving flight, following which the AOC will be re-validated. The resumption of scheduled services will follow soon thereafter.
Grounded since April 2019 amid a huge debt burden, the once most popular carrier had to navigate several headwinds, including stiff opposition from employees’ unions to make its comeback.
Jet 2.0 was initially scheduled to start in July 2021. Later its court appointed resolution professional reportedly said it would start flying by December 2021.
In the first year, the revamped airline will be operating only leased aircraft, both brand new and older ones, before placing orders for modern and fuel-efficient planes.
Jet airways 2.0 will start with domestic operations. Since much of the fleet that is left with the airline is wide-body aircraft, the carrier will not use them anytime soon as it plans to restart as a domestic airline. The consortium is working with multiple aircraft lessors as well as aircraft manufacturers to source aircraft that will be inducted into the Jet Airways fleet over the next three to five years, sources close to the management said.
At the peak of its operations, Jet Airways, in which Etihad Airways had taken a significant stake, used to operate 50 flights per day to 10 cities in the GCC, including three airports in the UAE.
On Jet 2.0 plans to operate international flights, senior officials said as regulations require an airline to fly 20 aircraft on domestic routes before applying for international flights, Jet has to reach 20-aircraft target to apply for international flights.
According to Kapoor, the airline has significant funding from new promoters.
“There is a $60 million liability passed on to new promoters, which has been accounted for. Our promoters have committed $180 million of initial funding. Of this $120 million will be used to fund the airline, which is actually a pretty significant sum. And this doesn’t include SLB (proceeds from Sale and Leaseback of aircraft). We will have access to SLB cash flows over a period of time on top of the promoter funding. We also have assets of old Jet Airways that can be sold to generate funds,” the CEO was quoted as saying by the Indian media.
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