The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is set to question Jet Airways (India) Ltd about its plans to resume flights, as the private carrier remains grounded nine months after the aviation regulator granted its flying permission.
“We gave them the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) last year in May and so far, we are not aware whether the airline has made any definite plans for inducting aircraft, which is necessary as per the protocol outlined in civil aviation standards. “We are requesting clarification from them on their intentions for flying operations.”A senior DGCA official said
The regulator reaffirmed Jet Airways’ AOC last May, and it is valid till May 19th.
According to civil aviation regulations, a scheduled commercial airline operator must own or lease at least five planes. An applicant may begin flight services with just one aircraft and meet the criteria of five planes within a year after receiving the AOC to expedite the commencement of operations.
Jet Airways to resume operations
Jet Airways, a full-service airline that had been in operation for more than 25 years, was grounded on April 17, 2019 due to a severe liquidity shortage. The insolvency procedure commenced in June 2019, and the NCLT approved the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium’s resolution plan on June 22, 2021. The banks and the Jalan-Kalrock consortium were at odds over Jet’s ownership transfer at the time.
The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), on January 13 authorised the consortium to acquire ownership of the airline. But, the lenders had requested a stay of the order, which NCLT had refused.
The two parties disagree on how to handle unpaid employee dues as well. The NCLAT’s ruling of October 21 requiring the consortium to pay outstanding provident fund and gratuity dues of 250 crore to former airline employees was appealed by the consortium in January to the Supreme Court. The highest court later rejected the plea and maintained the NCLAT decision.
“The lenders continue to believe that JKC has not satisfied all requirements necessary for the transfer, and have thus approached the NCLAT to challenge the NCLT order on the transfer of ownership to Jlan-Kalrock Consortium. The hearing is still ongoing. In addition, if employees make claims over their dues to their unions, further legal disputes arise,” A second individual with knowledge of the development added.
“Given the complexity of the situation, it is uncertain whether a resolution and the purchase of aircraft necessary to launch operations can happen by mid-May. If legal disputes linger until May as well, they might have to reapply for AOC,” Added he
The Jalan-Kalrock Consortium requested a capital infusion of 1,375 crore, including 475 crore for stakeholder payments. The remaining 900 crore was to be used for capital expenditure and working capital requirements. Under the approved resolution plan, the lenders faced a 380 crore hit on their accepted claims of approximately 7,807.7 crore.
“The aircraft agreement with the original equipment makers is at its final stages and will be announced after completion of acquisition, which is ongoing. “The acquisition is a court-approved regulated process, and all parties and regulators are kept up to date on the progress.”A Jalan-Kalrock consortium spokeswoman stated
“The resolution plan of Jet Airlines as provided by JKC has been also now been approved by the Supreme Court and the matter has reached finality in terms of pending matters. “With our finances available for infusion and a change in control, we are getting closer to the acquisition,” the spokesperson stated.
He further stated that the airline was unaware of the DGCA’s request for status on the matter, and that the company had kept the regulator up to date on all developments.
‘Jet Airlines is expected to resume operations within 60-90 days of the completion of the transaction and transfer of control to the JKC,‘ said the spokeswoman.
Follow us on Google News for latest Aviation Updates
Join us on telegram group