What To Expect From Jet Airways 2.0

In one of the most surprising airline turnarounds, Jet Airways plans to return to the skies within the next six months. The previous Jet was notable as a full-service carrier, with a focus on business-heavy routes. So what should we expect from Jet Airways 2.0?

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Jet Airways 2.0 plans to carry on its predecessor’s legacy but will make some distinct changes too. Photo: Getty Images

Timeline and network

Perhaps the most important question is when Jet Airways will return to the skies. According to Murari Lal Jalan, one of the new owners of Jet, the airline will start flying four to six months after it completes bankruptcy procedures.

The plan submitted by the Kalrock-Jalan consortium is currently being reviewed by the NCLT (India’s bankruptcy tribunal) and is expected to be approved in the coming months. Once the plan is given the green light, Jet can begin formally making changes.

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Jet’s rescue plan is yet to be approved by the bankruptcy tribunal but has found support among creditors. Photo: Getty Images

When it comes to routes, Jet Airways is planning to make some changes to its network. While it will reclaim slots at its former hubs like Mumbai, Delhi, and Bangalore, the once business-focused airline plans to diversify into more regional routes. This means Jet could start flying to Tier 2 and 3 cities once it relaunches. International flights will be on the table soon too.

One particular sticking point during the Jet Airways sale process has been the status of its former slots. While the government temporarily leased out Jet’s slots to other airlines, it has been nearly two years since this move. However, new owner Murari Lal Jalan struck a note of optimism around slots in an interview with The Economic Times, saying,

“We are not concerned about the slots. We have already discussed. During the time of Covid, the Government of India have increased a lot of slots and even a lot of infrastructure development, especially on civil aviation, have been done. We have already had preliminary discussions and we are sure we will get the slot we need.”

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Fleet and brand

Jet Airways was notable for having the second-largest widebody fleet in India, behind Air India. However, the relaunched carrier is unlikely to rapidly expand its widebody footprint given the current aviation climate. Instead, Jet 2.0 is focusing on a streamlined fleet of 25 planes when it relaunches.

Of the 25, 18-20 will be narrowbodies while 5-7 will be widebodies. This does not include Jet’s former fleet of owned aircraft but rather a slate of newly leased planes. While the airline hasn’t said exactly which planes it will fly, the Boeing 737 family and 777s look like suitable candidates based on the carrier’s past.

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Jet will begin flying with 25 aircraft, including several widebodies. Photo: Getty Images

The owners of Jet Airways also want to revive one critical aspect of the airline: the brand. Jet will remain a premium, full-service airline, despite the changing market. However, by maintaining this image, it could have an advantage while attracting customers back.

Lot of work to be done

While plans are being drawn up, there is a lot to be done to bring Jet Airways out of bankruptcy. This includes receiving NCLT approval, hiring a management team, and retaking slots at key airports. However, it seems Jet Airways is poised for a return to the skies, and if successful, could be one of the most surprising turnarounds in Indian aviation.

What do you think about the future of Jet? Will it find a market after two years? Let us know in the comments!