Jet, Set, Sold. Crockery, cutlery of The Flying Sun goes under hammer

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on September 04, 2020 Published on September 03, 2020

The sun sets   -  REUTERS

117 items were auctioned in The Netherlands

There was a time when Jet Airways served its business and first class passengers in Rosenthal crockery and bespoke William Edwards ceramic ware. Now, the insolvent airline is reduced to auctioning a large part of its in-flight equipment — not just the crockery and cutlery, but also towels, trolleys and more.

According to a notice put out by Dutch auction house BVA Auctions, 117 items from Jet Airways in-flight service were put under the hammer. In all, the auctioneers got over 1,100 bids. The top bid was for a set of four trolleys which sold for €520. Other items including a set of 90 cotton towels, went for €51, while 16 nightdresses were bought for €71. A single cutlery set was sold for €25. The auction closed on August 31.

Among the bidders for the collectibles from the ‘Flying Sun’, as the airline used to be fondly called, was a former employee Vimal Kumar Rai. In a LinkedIn post, he shared, “This is bittersweet for me personally...painful even. I distinctly remember sitting across from William in Jet’s Hammersmith office till late one evening back in the summer of 2010 getting inspiration for all of these designs. We were exhausted but decided to give it one final go. We were looking at the ‘waves’ on the letterhead, the designs on the corporate stationery and bingo — it suddenly became clear what needed to happen.”


Rai, who worked for the airline for three years between 2008 and 2011, remembered the discreet silver waves and rims on the Premier crockery. “My favourite was the saucers underneath the wide-rimmed tea-cups, and the elegant (glass) drinking glasses with the decals. The designs were a hit with everyone and were produced within three months in time for Winter 2010. New menus and service procedures followed closely. Couldn’t have done it without my team at the time,” he said.

The auction was a result of the bankruptcy proceedings against Jet Airways in The Netherlands. H Esser Finance Company and Wallenborn Transport had dragged the airline to bankruptcy proceedings citing unpaid claims of around ₹280 crore. Jet Airways went belly up in April 2019 after which the company’s Indian lenders dragged it to the insolvency tribunal in Mumbai to recover unpaid dues.

Alongside the insolvency proceedings that are going on in India, insolvency proceedings had been initiated in the Dutch court where Jet was declared bankrupt in response to a complaint filed by the two European creditors.

On January 13, Jet Airways announced that it had sold its Dutch business to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which is the flag carrier of The Netherlands.

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Published on September 03, 2020
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