Jet 2.0 set for debut in first quarter of 2022
The airline will resume international short haul flights by the third or fourth quarter of 2022
Jet Airways, revamped under a new ownership, will restart operations from the first quarter of 2022 after more than two years of hiatus.
A consortium of Dubai-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan and Kalrock Capital confirmed on Monday that Jet 2.0 will take to the skies with a flight from Mumbai to New Delhi early next year. The airline will resume international short haul flights by the third or fourth quarter of 2022.
At the peak of its operations four years ago, 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.
“We received NCLT approval in June 2021, and since then we have been working closely with all concerned authorities to get the airline back in the skies. Jet Airways 2.0 aims at restarting domestic operations by Q1-2022, and short haul international operations by Q3/Q4 2022. Our plan is to have 50+ aircraft in three years and 100+ in five years,” said Jalan, the proposed non-executive chairman of Jet Airways.
Grounded since 2019 amid a huge debt burden, Jet Airways 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.
According to aviation experts, Jet 2.0 will be a very different airline in its second iteration, and it will also confront a vastly changed Indian airline market. “Consolidation, ownership reshuffles, and market share expansion by some players are all on the cards for the post-pandemic industry landscape,” analysts at Capa said.
Jalan said aircraft are being selected based on competitive long-term leasing solutions. “It is the first time in the history of aviation that an airline grounded for more than two years is being revived and we are looking forward to being a part of this historic journey. The brand Jet Airways has a huge loyalty-base and we are confident that we will be able to capitalise and create new benchmarks. We would like to assure all our loyal Jet Airways guests that your favourite airline will soon be back in the skies,” he added.
Captain Sudhir Gaur, the newly appointed acting CEO of the airline and member of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium, said in its new avatar, Jet Airways will be headquartered in Delhi NCR with its senior management working from the corporate office at Gurugram. “However, Jet Airways will continue to have a strong and significant presence in Mumbai where it will work from its ‘Global One’ office in Kurla. Jet Airways also has a state-of-the-art training centre located at Global One, which will be retained and used for in-house training for the Jet Airways team.”
Last month, two employee unions challenged the airline’s resolution plan, demanding higher compensation from the new ownership.
India’s top bankruptcy court, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) gave two weeks’ time to the counsel of the new owner consortium to respond to claims by the employee associations.
Before the employee dispute, Jet Airways spent several months to get the government to confirm whether it would receive the slot it was allotted while in operation. The Director General of Civil Aviation ruled out the request, but a court ruled that Jet must get at least some of the original slots.
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