Jet Airways cleared a crucial hurdle on its path to resurrection this week. The carrier’s Resolution Plan was accepted by the bankruptcy court after over eight months, clearing the way for operations to restart. So will Jet Airways fly again? When will it operate its first flight? Let’s find out.
Last October, the Kalrock-Jalan consortium won the bid to become Jet Airways’ new owners and turn around the debt-ridden carrier. However, there remained several hurdles, including questions over Jet’s former slots and the plan’s approval from India’s bankruptcy tribunal (the NCLT).
The last month has cleared up both of these issues. The DGCA and Ministry of Civil Aviation confirmed that Jet is not entitled to its old slots after resuming flights since those slots have gone to other airlines now. This was a huge blow considering the airline’s slots were one of its few assets. However, it doesn’t seem to be a deal-breaker, and the consortium is pushing ahead with its plans.
Yesterday, the NCLT officially cleared the resolution plan for Jet Airways, formally allowing Kalrock Capital and Murari Lal Jalan to take over the airline. According to the Times Of India, the approval is valid for 90 days and will require reapproval every three months.
Notably, this is the first time any Indian airline has even been given a chance to resume operations after filing for bankruptcy.
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Jet Airways plans to hit the ground running. Speaking to NDTV, Resolution Professional Ashish Chhawchharia (who led the sale process) has said the airline will announce its first routes within 90 days. This is dependent on slot clarity from the DGCA, but the NCLT has ordered that Jet receive some slots by the end of three months.
In addition to slots, Jet Airways 2.0 plans to operate a fleet of 25 aircraft, with 20 narrowbodies and five widebodies. These planes will serve 20 initial routes, possibly some international ones too. In total, the new consortium will invest ₹600 crores ($80.7 million) into the revived airline to kick off operations and pay creditors.
For now, it seems that Jet Airways is indeed back in action. While it will take some time to set up operations again, the plan’s approval is a huge boost. Indeed, stocks hit an upper circuit breaker upon the news of the NCLT ruling. So when will Jet Airways resume flights?
Jet Airways could begin flying again by the end of the calendar year, according to the Resolution Professional who led the sale process. This means operations could resume any time from this September to December, as the airline looks to hire back former staffers and assemble a new management team.
After two years of limbo, Jet Airways has pulled off a miraculous revival it seems. However, we will still have to hold off the celebrations until the carrier operates its first flight.
What do you think about Jet Airways’ plans? Will they fly again? Let us know in the comments!