Jet Airways will restart its domestic flights in the first quarter of 2022. For the unversed, the airline has ceased its operations from April 2019.
Once India’s largest private carrier, Naresh Goyal’s Jet Airways ceased operations on April 17, 2019, due to financial disaster and underwent a resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for over two years.
According to the cash-strapped airline, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had approved a resolution plan proposed by a consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan in June.
The bankruptcy court’s permission came several months after the consortium’s resolution plan was approved by Jet’s creditors in October of last year.
The airline’s resumption:
Elaborating on the development, Murari Lal Jalan, Lead Member of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium and the proposed Non-Executive Chairman of Jet Airways, said that the airline will restart domestic operations from New Delhi to Mumbai by Q1 2022.
He also added that the airline aims to launch short-haul international flights in the first, third, and fourth quarters of 2022, respectively.
Delhi will be the new headquarters of the airlines. The consortium said the process of recovering the cash-strapped airline was on its track, with the existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) already under process for revalidation.
Captain Sudhir Gaur, Jet Airways’ Accountable Manager and Acting CEO, stated that the airline would begin domestic operations with an all-narrow-body aircraft fleet leased from major global aircraft lessors.
According to the statement, the consortium is also working closely with relevant authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation, required airport infrastructure, and night parking.
Jet Airways’ stock reached its upper circuit and traded at ₹84.40 per share, up to ₹3.95, or 4.97 per cent. It has got an intraday high of ₹83.50 and an intraday low of ₹78.60.
Another area where Jet Airways could struggle is in human resources, especially considering that the nature of the business will necessitate mission-critical personnel such as pilots, cabin crew, network planners, etc.
It has already hired around 150 full-time personnel and plans to hire another 1,000 or more across all categories in the current fiscal year.
Employees of the defunct airline, on the other hand, have filed an appeal with the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against the revival proposal for Jalan-Kalrock.
Several employee groups have petitioned the appellate tribunal to suspend the insolvency court’s approval of the restoration plan, claiming that it would harm their interests.
The NCLAT has accepted the company’s plea and requested that it submit its reply. Various hundred employees owed dues ranging from ₹3-85 lakh each after the airline was grounded.
Still, as part of the recovery plan, the consortium offered employees a settlement of ₹23,000 each, which several employee unions rejected.
On a consolidated basis, admitted employee claims worth ₹1,265 crores, and the consortium proposed ₹52 crores to settle their claims.
The Mumbai bench of the NCLT had addressed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Civil Aviation 90 days from June 22 to assign slots to Jet Airways.
Jet Airways will require some of the premium slots it held in its first avatar reallocated to other airlines following its grounding in April 2019.
While the government has been hesitant to commit to these slots, a reduced flight schedule due to Covid19-led restrictions could result in the airline receiving at least some of the time-slots once it can demonstrate fleet capacity.
Currently, the airline faces several roadblocks before it can begin service in the first quarter of next year, as anticipated.
In addition to the employees’ case before the NCLAT, state-owned lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) filed a petition with the appellate tribunal to quash the rescue plan.