Logistics

Jet Airways seeks permission to fly three aircraft for cargo operations

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on May 07, 2020

Jet Airways suspended its operations in April 2019   -  REUTERS

Jet Airways’ Resolution Professional (RP) has written to the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), seeking permission to use three Boeing 777 passenger aircraft in its fleet for cargo operations in the wake of the pandemic.

According to sources, MoCA has responded saying that it will “consider” the request. However, it may be a non-starter, as the approval process might take at least a month. Two people in the know told BusinessLine that, after approvals from the Committee of Creditors (CoC), the RP had emailed the request to MoCA on April 9.

Jet Airways suspended its operations in April 2019 following a cash crunch and was dragged to the insolvency court in June.

Airworthiness advisory

The RP’s latest move comes after the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued an airworthiness advisory circular that allowed scheduled passenger airlines to operate special flights for cargo, to carry medical and essential supplies. Following this, several airlines, including SpiceJet, IndiGo and Air India, operated such flights to various parts of the world.

“We would like to make use of the airworthiness advisory circular issued by DGCA last month permitting the usage of passenger aircraft as cargo aircraft,” said the RP in his mail. “We are interested in cargo operations using our Boeing 777s which are in a preserved condition right now. All the approvals we had at the time when Jet was operational are in a dormant stage; we would request you to activate those approvals so that we can meet the DGCA’s regulatory requirements.”

Jet Airways is considered as a “going concern” by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and, thus, its assets are preserved, the RP pointed out. MoCA has not responded to Jet’s request for permission to operate its three Boeing 777s. On April 24, the 10th CoC meeting was organised, following which the RP sent a reminder to MoCA and the DGCA.

Is it viable?

One of the two sources said the RP was told that MoCA would “consider its request”, but was not “hopeful that it would work out”. Even if Jet gets permission, “it may face issues because it is in the dormant stage and so are all its regulatory approvals”, said the source. “It will take at least a month to start these operations even if approved.”

The other source said that along with the timeline, the cost of operating three aircraft may be a challenge as the lenders may not agree to infuse the required funds. However, it “will not be more than ₹20 crore”, the person added.

Published on May 07, 2020

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