KLM To Acquire Jet Airways’ Netherlands Business

Jet Airways is entering into a conditional sale and purchase agreement with Dutch flag-carrier KLM. The information was discovered in a January 13 regulatory filing – a stock exchange disclosure to be precise. Things aren’t final yet, as it still requires the approval and clearance of Dutch as well as Indian authorities.

KLM To Acquire Jet Airways’ Netherlands Business
KLM and Jet Airways have an existing history of code shares and partnerships. Photo: KLM

A partial purchase

We reached out to the Dutch carrier and this is what they had to say in response to our inquiry:

KLM is currently investigating a possible acquisition of part of the Jet Airways network. KLM and Jet Airways had combined activities between India and Schiphol to connect India with Europe and North America. After the bankruptcy of Jet Airways, KLM tries to continue and repair this part of the route network as much as possible. To achieve this, KLM is investigating a possible takeover of the Amsterdam part of the assets of Jet Airways.

While some media sources report that the assets involved in the purchase are unspecified,  reports sourced by the Hindu Business Line say that Jet Airways will sell one aircraft and two former slots of Jet Airways at the Schiphol airport. Our inquiry with KLM revealed that other assets purchased include “marketing data, catering equipment, office furniture and also a Boeing 777-300 ER”. KLM did not confirm the selling of former slots.

“If the deal is finalized, it will only involve a sale of part of the company’s business and not impact the shareholding pattern,” a statement from Jet Airways via Money Control.

Schiphol KLM Planes
Amsterdam Schiphol is the home of KLM. Photo: Chris Loh/Simple Flying

A shared history

Before Jet Airways’ April 2019 shut down, it had an existing partnership with KLM (as well as Group partner, Air France). Some examples include:

  • A “full-fledged network-wide accrual and redemption partnership” between the frequent flyer programs of the two airlines
  • A 2014 code-share agreement between Jet Airways and KLM
  • Further expansion of code-sharing and loyalty program cooperation at the end of 2017

However, when Jet Airways ceased operations in April, the government redistributed most of its slots to other Indian carriers in the aftermath. It would make sense for KLM to purchase slots previously used by Jet Airways – especially at Amsterdam Schiphol – Europe’s 3rd busiest airport. We reported at the end of May that the slots were given to KLM.

KLM To Acquire Jet Airways’ Netherlands Business
The Boeing 777-300ER pictured here (registration VT-JEW) was seized in Amsterdam in April 2019. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Flickr

You may recall that when Jet Airways was on the edge of shut down, a European cargo services provider seized one of Jet’s planes in Amsterdam over non-payment of dues. The plane involved was a Boeing 777-300ER with registration VT-JEW. Could this be the one aircraft to be part of the sale?

Conclusion

This news has certainly taken us by surprise as four days before the regulatory filing we wrote about two Expressions of Interest (EoIs) for Jet Airways – with no mention of KLM. As this KLM deal is a partial purchase, the fate of the remainder of Jet Airways remains unknown. Therefore, it could very well be one of the two EoIs we wrote about taking over the airline.

If the KLM deal goes through, we are sure that Jet Airways’ old 777-300ER will fit in perfectly at KLM. In fact, the airline already operates 14 of them according to Airfleets.

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