Jet Airways has redrawn its plans to return to the skies under new CEO Sanjiv Kapoor, which include launching flight operations by October in both economy and business class and ordering new aircraft.
“By October, we hope to begin commercial operations.”
It could have happened earlier. We don’t want to rush things and start too early, so I’m not committing to earlier.” Kapoor
"The Jet brand has certain expectations, and we intend to live up to them, if not exceed them," he said.
The airline, which was resurrected from bankruptcy last year under new ownership, had previously stated that commercial operations would begin in the summer of this year. The airline is working to reclaim its air operator’s permit (AOP), which was revoked in 2019 after it grounded flights.
The airline is in talks with Boeing and Airbus about ordering new planes.
“We’re looking at both Airbus and Boeing as manufacturers.”
We’ll also look at the Embraer E2 because we want to be fully informed about all of the options available.
“We’re evaluating the aircraft and will make a decision on the fleet and orders later,” said the new CEO.
Because new planes take time to arrive, he said, initial operations may begin with aircraft from lessors. “The 777s and other aircraft from the old Jet fleet may not be used for Jet 2.0,” according to the airline.
As part of the airline’s bankruptcy resolution process, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium has committed to a funding of $180 million (roughly Rs 1,350 crore). About $60 million of this will be used to pay Jet Airways’ debts.
“This (remaining) $120 million is significant funding for any airline startup, and this amount excludes potential SLB proceeds, which are frequently used for aircraft acquisition and fleet growth,” said Kapoor.
On top of the $120 million from the promoters, proceeds from the sale and leaseback (SLB) of aircraft would be received. Any proceeds from the sale of “Jet 1.0 assets that are no longer required by Jet 2.0” would also be excluded, according to Kapoor.
The funds will be made available once Jet Airways receives the AOP — which is expected to happen by the end of this month — and the bankruptcy court formally transfers the airline’s ownership to the new promoters, he said.
According to the CEO, the airline plans to offer a dual-class configuration in a hybrid model, with a small full-service business class and an economy class that competes with low-cost carriers.
“A frequent-flier programme will be implemented.”
“One thing I can assure is that all those who were platinum and gold members on Jet FFP will have their status restored from day one,” he said, adding, “We do not know whether we will have the Jet former programme or not because that was not owned by us alone, but jointly by Jet and Etihad.”
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