By Putu Deny Wijaya
Jet Airways Optimistic About Resuming Operations In the Coming Months
Jet Airways has provided an update on how far it has progressed in resuming operations. After a new set of promoters – the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium – injected capital into the bankrupt airline, the carrier’s second stint is anticipated to begin this year. Jet officials are working to obtain the essential clearances and are optimistic that scheduled flights will begin soon.
On March 17th, the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium issued an official statement stating that Jet Airways’ relaunch efforts are “progressing nicely.” Jet’s staff is stated to be collaborating closely with the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), the Government of India, and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure that all essential approvals are obtained.
The carrier is preparing for the requisite proving flight to obtain the AOC. Obtaining clearances from the appropriate authorities can take a long time, and Jet’s statement attempts to illustrate the complexities of the procedure, saying, “Restarting an airline is a complex exercise that must be done meticulously, in coordination with the Regulatory Authorities and we are well underway with this process. The timeline reflects the typical duration of an AOC process however we fully expect to have the proving flight and AOC well in advance of the filed timelines.”
The airline has set a March 22 deadline for revalidating the AOC. It marks the end of a 270-day period that began on June 22, 2021, when the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved its resolution process.
According to a report in the Business Standard, insiders familiar with the situation said the procedure has taken longer than expected due to delays in aircraft leasing. Initially, they planned to lease the planes through GIFT City in Gujarat, but this proved to be more expensive than leasing them abroad.
The airline, on the other hand, has stressed that the extension has nothing to do with the aircraft’s registration, saying, “Further, there is no regulatory requirement of taking an aircraft outside India for the purpose of re-registration. We are 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.”
Jet Airways has been in the process of being resurrected for some time. In April of this year, the airline filed for bankruptcy in a dramatic manner. Jet Airways’ Committee of Creditors, led by the State Bank of India, proclaimed the Jalan-Kalrock consortium the airline’s new owners in October 2020, as efforts to bring the crashed carrier back to life gained traction.
The NCLT approved Jet’s restoration proposal in June 2021, and since then, its promoters have been striving to put the broken parts back together in order to resuscitate the airline. Jet’s management team has been meeting with important airports to discuss slot allocations and to consider issues such as the location of its future headquarters.
Much has happened in the last few months alone, from planning fleet development and debt settlement ahead of the launch to opening employment applications and selecting a new CEO. While restarting the airline was never going to be easy, many former Jet fans are wanting to see it resurrected as soon as possible.