Grounded since April 2019, Jet Airways is all set to become the first Indian carrier to resume flying under the country’s bankruptcy law by this September. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation revalidated Jet’s air operator permit certificate after it successfully conducted two proving flights earlier this week and the winning Jalan-Kalrock consortia fulfilled all condition of the NCLT-approved resolution plan. The renewed AOC was handed to a Jet 1.0 veteran pilot, Captain P P Singh, who is now Jet 2.0’s accountable manager.
Jet 2.0 plans to resume operations in a hybrid mode (having features of both a budget and full-service carrier, or FSC) using brand new planes, say people in the know. The proving flight was conducted on a Boeing 737 that was used by Jet 1.0, then taken over by SpiceJet and is now back with the former. Jet was launched in 1993 as an FSC and later acquired Air Sahara in 2007 — a financial burden from which it never recovered and eventually collapsed over three years ago.
“Till a few months back, there was a long waiting period to get a new Airbus 320 Neo or Boeing 737 Max. After the Ukraine crisis, delivery slots for Russian carriers have been cancelled and also some Indian carriers have deferred their deliveries. Now new planes will be available for Jet 2.0 and which aircraft we choose will be announced shortly. Now that Jet 2.0 has an AOC, leasing aircraft becomes possible,” said sources.
The consortia has put together a team of seasoned aviation personnel in key positions for the re-launch. However, Jet 2.0’s revival rests on Jalan-Kalrock’s willingness and ability to infuse significant amount of funds regularly and bear losses for the first few years.
Consider this: India’s two newest big airlines — Tata Group’s AirAsia India that started operations in 2014 and Vistara that started flying a year later — are yet to see their first profitable year.
Murari Lal Jalan, lead member of the consortium, said, “We are now at the brink of creating history by bringing India’s most-loved airline back to the skies. We will not only live up to the great expectations from brand Jet Airways, but also exceed them in many ways for today’s discerning flyers. ” Jet 2. 0 CEO Sanjiv Kapoor said, “We will combine the best of what Jet Airways was known for 25 years, with exciting new ideas to set the bar even higher. ”