Jet Airways to fly again in the first quarter of 2022

Jet Airways, once among India’s largest airlines, will restart operations from the first quarter of 2022. The Jalan Kalrock consortium has confirmed that Jet Airways will begin its operations again, with a flight from Mumbai to New Delhi. Representatives of the consortium have visited airports in the last month, for the same.

The process of reviving the grounded carrier is on track with the existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) already under process for revalidation, said the company in a statement.

“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. We plan to have 50+ aircraft in 3 years and 100+ in 5 years.

The aircraft is 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.

Murari Lal Jalan, lead member of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium and the proposed non-executive chairman of Jet Airways

In an interview with ET, Dubai-based businessman Jalan had earlier said the airline would start in July 2021. Later its court-appointed resolution professional reportedly said it would start flying by December 2021. Shortly by the third or fourth quarter of 2022, the airlines will also resume international short-haul flights.

They plan to increase their fleet of planes to 50 in three years and raise that to 100 in five years.

Crippled by mounting losses, the airline, once India’s biggest private carrier, was forced to ground all flights in April 2019, owing billions to lenders and leaving thousands without a job.

Jet Airways, once among India’s largest airlines, will restart operations from the first quarter of 2022.

The company is working closely with authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation required airport infrastructure, and night parking.

Jet Airways’ revival plan was approved by the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) in June. All the creditors, said the company, will be settled as per the plan in the coming months.

The bankruptcy court’s go-ahead came several months after Jet’s creditors had given their approval in October last year to the revival plan submitted by the consortium.

Unlike Jet Airways 1.0, this time the headquarters of the airline will be based in Gurugram.

“In its new avatar, Jet Airways will now 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.

Jet Airways has already hired 150+ full-time employees on its payroll and we are looking to onboard another 1,000+ employees FY 2021-22 across categories.”

Newly appointed Captain Sudhir Gaur, Acting CEO, Jet Airways and member of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium

The hiring, he added, will be in a phased manner and will be strictly on merit, to meet the operational requirements of the airline. Meanwhile, the airline has also started its hiring activities as India’s private carrier gets closer to be back on the skies. In a tweet, Jet Airways shared that it has started hiring professionals and looks to onboard them soon. 

In June this year, the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the resolution plan submitted by the Kalrock Capital and Murari Lal Jalan consortium. The bankruptcy court’s go-ahead came several months after Jet’s creditors had given their approval in October last year to the resolution plan submitted by the consortium.

The airline suspended operations on April 17, 2019, due to financial distress and had been undergoing a resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for over two years.

Legal Issues still in the picture

Jet Airways continues to be stuck in legal issues. Earlier this month, Punjab National Bank (PNB) moved the appellate bankruptcy court, seeking a stay on the approval on its resolution plan,

In its petition to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), the state-owned lender claimed that the resolution professional (RP) — the executive appointed to manage the company during the bankruptcy process — arbitrarily cut its claim after approving it.

The NCLAT issued notices to resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia, the Kalrock-Jalan consortium and the airline’s lenders, and posted the matter for hearing on September 21.

Jet Airways continues to be stuck in legal issues.

This is the second petition in the appellate tribunal over Jet Airways’ revival plan. Late last month, Jet’s employees challenged the resolution plan on aspects of payment of salary arrears and gratuity.

According to the resolution plan, the potential owners of Jet would give a small fraction of the employees’ claimed dues of INR 1,200 crore and employ a small chunk from the staff still on the payrolls of the airline. The tribunal had sought the response of the Kalrock-Jalan consortium on the employees’ petition.