It’s been a few weeks since Jet Airways found a new owner willing to revive the carrier. Since then, the airline has been taking key steps to restart operations, including hiring new staff and making fleet decisions. However, a few key hurdles remain before Jet can start flying again. So will Jet Airways make a comeback?
Jet Airways’ first step to making a comeback would be to have its resolution plan approved by the NCLT, India’s bankruptcy tribunal. While creditors have accepted the Kalrock-Jalan consortium’s proposal, the NCLT must also agree since Jet Airways has been declared bankrupt. Once this is complete, the new owners can formally start the tough work of restarting the airline.
According to the Times of India, the new owners have offered $53.5mn (₹400 crores) as start-up capital, with another $87mn (₹650 crores) in the first year of operation. This $140mn cash injection will be key to Jet being able to finance its revival, which will require new staff, aircraft, and paying down debt.
The plan’s approval is expected in the coming weeks, and likely before the end of the year. Notably, Jet Airways is the first Indian airline ever to be referred for a revival under bankruptcy law.
Leadership and fleet
The key to any successful airline is a strong leadership team. To this end, Jet’s new owners are reportedly considering veterans from IndiGo to lead the airline. According to Business Standard, former IndiGo CEO Aditya Ghosh, current COO and President Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, and other IndiGo officials are under consideration. We should know more about Jet Airways’ new leadership team soon.
Another interesting point will be Jet Airways’ future fleet. The airline currently only owns 12 aircraft, of which three are 737s and nine are widebodies. In a statement to the Times of India, Jet’s Resolution Professional Ashish Chhawchharia said,
“10 aircraft are in India and the consortia’s plan is to restart the airline with a few additional narrow body planes in the next six months once the NCLT approval and slot assurance comes”
This signals that Jet is likely to invest in a fleet of new narrowbody planes before returning to the skies. See the airline’s fleet history, the most likely contender would be more 737-800s or even 737 MAXs, which Jet previously operated too.
Will it happen?
While the plans for a new Jet Airways seem quite realistic, a few important questions still linger. Considering the market right now, the airline might find itself competing in an overcrowded market and struggle to gain market share. Additionally, there remains little information about whether Jet will have its slots in domestic airports, a key part of the plan.
The new few months will offer a lot more clarity about whether Jet Airways will make a comeback. However, for now, Jet seems all set to plan a return to the skies by early 2021 at the earliest.
What do you think about Jet Airways’ plans? Will it return to the skies soon? Let us know in the comments!