India flights: Dubai investor-backed Jet Airways ready to start operations within weeks – News

The grounded airline says it is ready to start operations within weeks amid reports that its new management has succeeded in resolving key issues



FILE. Grounded planes of Jet Airways are pictured at Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Photo: AFP

Published: Sun 16 Oct 2022, 3:40 PM

Last updated: Mon 17 Oct 2022, 12:18 AM

After several missed take-offs in its much-vaunted relaunch efforts, the grounded Jet Airways, which before three years was a prominent player in the India-Gulf sector, says it is ready to start operations within weeks amid reports that its new management has succeeded in resolving key issues with former lenders and aircraft engine makers.

The airline, being revived by Murari Lal Jalan, who is a Dubai-based businessman, and Florian Fritsch, chairman, of Kalrock Capital Management Ltd, has reportedly identified five aircraft to begin operations subsequent to obtaining favorable terms from engine makers in its proposed aircraft leasing contracts.

The five aircraft identified include three A320Neo and two B737-8 MAX that the airline plans to deploy in the first domestic phase of its relaunch.

Once India’s largest private airline, Jet Airways under the ownership of its founder Naresh Goyal went bankrupt and ceased operations in 2019.

Recently, the airline’s new owners could overcome another hurdle by securing concessions from out-of-pocket lenders to move ahead with the relaunch plans. The Kalrock Capital-Murari Lal Jalan consortium has also agreed to put more capital into the airline and comply with an agreed first installment of payments to the lenders. In exchange, those lenders have agreed to waive some conditions to help the consortium to move forward with the relaunch.

The new chief executive of Jet Airways, Sanjiv Kapoor, was quoted last month as saying that the airline’s management is close to finalizing its initial fleet plan to restart operations in the coming weeks.

“We are working to open for sale as soon as possible, and to start operations in the weeks that follow. Again, this is a marathon, not a sprint. We will start operations in a planned and phased manner and will share details of our fleet, customer value proposition and business model when we open for sale,” he said while confirming ongoing talks with engine makers for the best possible terms.

“Starting or restarting an airline is a complex business and we want to be sure we take the time to get the best possible terms and contracts for both aircraft and engines, including maintenance contracts, as well as to receive aircraft configured the way we want them , to meet our strategic requirements and to secure our future,” Kapoor was quoted by Indian media.

ALSO READ:

The airline is also in the process of hiring pilots and cabin staff for both the Airbus and Boeing planes. In a statement to reporters on September 27, the airline said, “We are very close to finalizing our initial fleet plan in preparation for opening for sale soon and resume of operations in the coming weeks.”

However, aviation analysts pointed out that the ownership consortium cannot decide to buy or lease planes without committing to a timeline for implementing the debt resolution plan with the lenders. It is not yet clear whether the consortium of lenders that dragged Jet Airways to the bankruptcy court has given the new owners their final approval to lease or buy planes. After its grounding in 2019, the airline’s bankruptcy case before the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) went on for two years before a debt resolution plan by the Jalan-Kalrock consortium was approved.

Back to top button
MONTAGNEDISTRIBUTION