Delay in getting aircraft and engine lease agreements has pushed back Jet Airways’ plans to restart operations by September.

The airline, which was acquired by the Jalan Kalrock Consortium through the insolvency process, had received the air operator certificate in May after completing all its “proving flights” – a part of DGCA’s process for the induction of a new aircraft type into the airline’s fleet. According to Sanjiv Kapoor, CEO, the airline is likely to launch in November now. 

Changing timelines

The Jalan Kalrock Consortium had last year said the airline will restart its operations in Q1 of 2022. Kapoor, after taking over as the CEO, had said the airline will restart its operations in September. Kapoor later told businessline that the company is focused on getting the optimum engine and aircraft agreements for its requirements to secure the future. “We are in the final stages of negotiations; we do not want to act in haste and repent at leisure.”

When asked for a fresh timeline, he said the airline will open for ticket sale once it has the aircraft entry-into-service date confirmed. “We are working towards opening for sale in October, for flights commencing 3-4 weeks after that.”

In June 2021, the NCLT cleared the consortium’s plan to revive Jet Airways which suspended its operations in April 2019. According to the NCLT order, the consortium had 270 days to fulfill the conditions that are required for implementing the plan. The 270-day limit ended on March 22, forcing the consortium to move court to extend the deadline till May 25. It’s not clear if the airline got another extension.

“There are multiple discussions going on between the lenders and the consortium. They are also supposed to fulfill the NCLT conditions soon; if not done, it could lead to the automatic withdrawal of the application. The deadline to fulfill the conditions could be around November,” said a source. businessline was not immediately able to verify this timeline.

‘No deadline’

In response to businessline’s query, a spokesperson on behalf of the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium said: “There is no deadline; target dates are set by us alone, and we have always maintained that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We had said we were targeting to launch by October 2022, and we are tracking quite close to that. Even to receive aircraft configured the way we want them to be configured, to meet our strategic requirements and to secure our future. If that takes a little more time to get right, that is fine.”

According to top sources, Jet Airways plans to restart operations with metro routes. Speaking about the aircraft type, the person said the airline plans to lease A320 and B737 Max. An internal Jet Airways’ document reviewed by businessline said the airline plans to have a two-class configuration and intends to return to the skies as a ‘smart’ full-service carrier, with a two-class cabin configuration, including a business class cabin designed to global standards, and an evolved economy class that offers digital-age customers what they most value.

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