The upcoming Friday (May 19) holds significance for the Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC), the winning bidder for Jet Airways, as it marks the final day of their air operator’s permit (AOP) granted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. The AOP is a crucial authorization that permits an airline to commence commercial operations.
According to a source, Jet Airways has not yet submitted a request for the renewal of its AOP. Typically, such requests are made at least a month before the license’s expiry date.
Jet Airways will Not Fly?
According to a source, Jet has not made any request to renew the AOP (Air Operator’s Permit). It is worth noting that typically such requests are made at least a month before the license’s expiry date.
JKC’s plan to operate Jet is virtually abandoned, even though more than 30 months have passed since they were declared the winning bidder. A mail sent to JKC was unanswered at the time this information was released.
According to an industry expert, initiating flight operations typically takes 1-2 months, considering the necessary steps such as securing slots, arranging ground handling services, and securing aircraft parking. However, obtaining slots alone can take up to two months. Currently, there are no available slots for the Delhi-Mumbai route.
Various factors are considered before an Air Operator Permit (AOP) is granted. Including the airline’s financial stability, management team, aircraft inventory, MRO capabilities, and the number of pilots available.
Originally planned as a full-service carrier, Jet initially aimed to resume commercial operations in September-October 2022. However, the airline, founded by Naresh Goyal and once the largest in India, ceased operations on April 17, 2019, due to mounting financial obligations.
Following its closure, the airline was subjected to bankruptcy proceedings initiated by its lenders.
Meanwhile, JKC (name of the entity) is currently engaged in a different kind of dispute. On May 14, the 180-day timeframe provided to JKC by the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in January came to an end.
According to the terms, JKC was required to make payments of ₹185 crores to the financial creditors. After which the management control of the airline would have been transferred to JKC.
However, ten days prior to the expiration of the given period, JKC filed a fresh petition against the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, JC Flowers Asset Reconstruction, and Ashish Chhawchharia (the resolution professional) with the NCLT in early May.
The petition was officially registered with the Mumbai bench on May 9, and a hearing has been scheduled for June 6.
According to sources, JKC has not yet fulfilled its payment obligations to the lenders and former employees of the airline. Including gratuity payments and other benefits. As a result, the lenders have been able to prevent the transfer of the airline’s management control.
Uncertain Future for Jet Airways
The uncertain future of Jet Airways coincides with a period of turbulence in the aviation industry, as several aircraft leasing companies have resorted to legal measures to repossess their aircraft after the grounding of Go First.
The airline, controlled by the Wadia Group, has sought protection from the NCLT to address the non-supply of engines by Pratt & Whitney and gain more time to settle matters with its financial creditors and aircraft lessors.
JKC and the management of Jet Airways, under the leadership of CEO-designate Sanjiv Kapoor, had originally planned to utilize aircraft leasing as a strategy to revive the airline. According to the DGCA, Jet Airways currently possesses a single Boeing 737-800 aircraft.
Recently, JKC stated its continued dedication to the revival of Jet Airways without disclosing specific information. They mentioned that their executive committee will temporarily assume the responsibilities of Kapoor until a suitable replacement is appointed.
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