The road ahead: Jet Airways may resume flights by mid-2021

Jet Airways is set to take flight once more by mid-2021, says one of the airline’s new promoters, Murari Lal Jalan of Kalrock-Jalan consortium. Here’s a look at what’s in store for the beleaguered carrier which has been grounded since April 2019.

After being grounded for nearly two years, Jet Airways is poised to return to the skies by July or August 2021, Murari Lal Jalan, one of the airline’s new promoters, has said. Jalan is part of the Kalrock-Jalan consortium which was declared the winning bidder for Jet Airways by the creditors’ committee in October 2020. According to the UAE-based entrepreneur, operations will begin within four to six months after the consortium receives clearance on the resolution plan it has submitted to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). Here’s a look at what to expect from Jet Airways in the coming months.

Will Jet Airways be rebranded?

Jet Airways flight India
Jet Airways may resume operations in mid-2021 pending a resolution from the NCLT. (Photo: Courtesy Jet Airways)

The new promoters intend to retain the Jet Airways branding and continue to position it as a premium, full-service airline with its base in Delhi. Operations will begin with a new fleet of 25 aircraft of which 18-20 will be narrow bodied and 5-7 wide bodied. A decision on what to do with the airline’s existing aircraft, around seven of which are still lodged at Mumbai Airport, will be made following the NCLT’s decision, says Jalan.

Focus on domestic network

While Jet Airways will reclaim slots at its former hubs such as Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, the airline plans to strengthen its regional network which could see it expand to tier two and tier three cities. The focus will be on domestic routes though Jalan says they hope to restart a few international routes by the end of this year.

The carrier’s slots were temporarily distributed to other airlines after it ceased operations in 2019, especially in Mumbai and Delhi. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) have been granted time till March 2 to clear their stance on the status of the airline’s former slots.

Funding and investment

The Kalrock-Jalan consortium has reportedly proposed to invest Rs 1,183 crore in the first two years to repay the grounded airline’s creditors and acquire an 89.79 per cent stake in the carrier. Speaking to the media, Jalan has said that the capital requirement to execute the first stage of Jet Airways’ revival over the next two years has been met. Further decisions on funding will be made pending clearance by the NCLT.