Jet Airways officially found new owners yesterday, reviving the airline after 18 months on the ground. The sale comes during a difficult time for Indian aviation as passenger figures remain heavily down. So what will the new Jet Airways look like?
Who are the owners?
Before we jump into Jet’s plans for the future, it will be interesting to note the airline’s new owners. A consortium of investors consisting of Kalrock Capital and entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan officially won the bid to take over the airline yesterday.
Kalrock Capital is a London-based financial advisory and asset management firm, which focuses on real estate, venture capital, and special situations. It is unclear if the firm has worked with airlines previously or if this will be their first foray into the industry.
Details on Murari Lal Jalan are harder to come across. According to CNBC-TV18, Jalan is an Indian, UAE-based entrepreneur with sizeable investments in many industries including tourism and real estate. Neither owner seems to have a background in aviation.
Most importantly, the new owners have plans to pump in over $136 million (₹1000 crores) into Jet Airways over the next five years. This will be key to helping the airline get back on its feet, hire new management, and acquire much-needed assets.
What the airline will look like
Details about Jet Airways’ new plans are still scarce, but we do know some important details. A Kalrock Capital board member told CNBC-TV18,
“Our plan is to be a full-service airline. So we will start with domestic, we already have a route plan in mind for domestic, and will go international as well depending on the slot allocation.”
This means the airline will return as a full-service one, sticking to its origins. The focus on domestic routes is understandable due to the lack of demand for international flights in the short term. It’s currently unclear if the new investors plan to use Jet’s fleet of 12 remaining aircraft or lease a newer fleet.
Will Jet succeed?
While the investment will revive the airline, Jet Airways is returning to a crowded Indian aviation market. Since its demise, full-service competitor Vistara has gone long-haul and low-cost carriers continue to dominate the market. To win back market share, Jet will have to rely on its brand loyalty and strong marketing.
Another major hurdle is the current pandemic. With domestic capacity still recovering and international traffic nascent, Jet Airways’ key business routes remain largely empty. The airline will need to adapt to the current market rather than recreating its past.
With demand still struggling, Jet could see itself struggle once again in a market dominated by low-cost carriers. However, through strategic planning and cost-savings, Jet Airways can take advantage of lower costs during the pandemic. The coming months will tell us more about Jet’s plans and when flights will restart. We’ll be sure to keep you updated on everything!
What do you think about Jet’s revival? Will you fly with the airline? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!