Jet Airways Set To Start Domestic Flights In Early 2022

Officials at Jet Airways made a significant announcement on September 13th, stating the airline, once fully revived, will start domestic operations in the first quarter of 2022. This comes after a series of steps taken to restart the airline in the past year by its new owners, the Kalrock-Jalan consortium. The official statements also give us a glimpse of what the initial operations at Jet 2.0 would look like if all goes according to plan. Here’s what we know so far…

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Jet Airways could start domestic operations in the first quarter of 2022. Photo: Getty Images

First flight in early 2022

The process of Jet Airways’ revival looks on track. If everything goes according to plan, the airline could kick off domestic operations with a flight on the popular Delhi-Mumbai sector. Short-haul international routes are also on the cards soon after. Murari Lal Jalan of the Kalrock-Jalan consortium stated,

“Jet Airways 2.0 aims at restarting domestic operations by Q1-2022, and short haul international operations by Q3/Q4 2022. Our plan is to have 50+ aircraft in 3 years and 100+ in 5 years which also fits perfectly well with the short-term and long-term business plan of the Consortium.”

In June, the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the revival plan of Jet Airways, a once-popular full-service carrier before it shut operations in 2019 due to piling losses. The company is also working to revalidate the carrier’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC), according to an official statement.

Jet Airways Boeing 737s
Jet Airways could kick off domestic operations with a flight between Delhi and Mumbai if all goes according to plan. Photo: Getty Images

Headquarter shifted, slots being discussed

Jet Airways’ second stint will come with some changes. Before going bankrupt, the airline was based in Mumbai, the commercial hub of India. Jet 2.0, however, will be headquartered in Delhi NCR. But Captain Sudhir Gaur, the acting CEO, stated the carrier would continue to have a significant presence in Mumbai. He said,

“…Jet Airways will continue to have a strong and significant presence in Mumbai where it will work from its ‘Global One’ office in Kurla. Jet Airways also has a state-of-the-art training centre located at Global One, which will be retained and used for in-house training for the Jet Airways team.”

So far, the company has hired more than 150 employees and is looking to increase its workforce to 1000+ in a phased manner in the financial year 2021-22. Captain Gaur also shared that Jet 2.0 will start with narrowbodies and is currently in talks with major global aircraft lessors.

Jet Airways Boeing 777
The airline in the past operated widebodies as well. This time it plans to start with narrowbody aircraft. Photo: Getty Images

In June, the airline faced a major setback when India’s aviation regulator, the DGCA, declined its request to reclaim old slots. The carrier is working to resolve the issue, as company officials have been meeting important authority figures across key airports in the country. Discussions related to slot allocation and night parking are currently ongoing.

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Against all odds

Jet Airways started out in 1993, and by 2000 had established itself firmly with a significant domestic presence in India, only behind Indian Airlines. The next few years saw an ambitious growth of the airline, with popular widebodies serving the carrier’s international routes.

Jet Airways Pilots
When the carrier went bankrupt, several employees were left without a job. Jet Airways is now looking to increase its workforce to more than 1000 gradually. Photo: Getty Images

However, as low-cost airlines permeated the Indian market, Jet Airways struggled to maintain its lead. Things got ugly towards the end when the airline, crippled with huge losses, faced embarrassing moments of airplanes being repossessed by lessors and vendors asking for payments before services. When the carrier went bankrupt in 2019, nobody thought it would come back.

As the new owners continue to push ahead with Jet’s revival plans and give out positive statements like these, one hopes the carrier’s second chance at flight remains on track.