The once-beleaguered airline is now all set to resume domestic operations in Q1 2022, according to the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium that’s behind its revival.
Jet Airways 2.0 aims at restarting domestic operations by Q1-2022, and short haul international operations by Q3/Q4 2022. According to Murari Lal Jalan, Lead Member of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium, and the proposed Non-Executive Chairman of Jet Airways, the plan is to have 50+ aircraft in three years and 100+ in five years, which also fits perfectly well with the short-term and long-term business plan of the Consortium.
The process of reviving the grounded carrier is on track with the existing Air Operator Certificate (AOC) already under process for revalidation. The Consortium is working closely with the relevant authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation, required airport infrastructure, and night parking. Senior Members of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium along with Jet 2.0 Operations Team led by the newly appointed Captain Sudhir Gaur, Accountable Manager and acting CEO, visited key airports last month and held productive meetings with them.
Elaborating on the details, Jalan says, “We received the NCLT approval in June 2021, and since then we have been working closely with all concerned authorities to get the airline back in the skies. The aircraft are being selected based on competitive long term leasing solutions. It is the first time in the history of aviation that an airline grounded for more than two years is being revived and we are looking forward to being a part of this historic journey. The brand Jet Airways has a huge loyalty base, and we are confident that with industry stalwarts like Captain Gaur, we will be able to capitalise and create new benchmarks. We would like to assure all our loyal Jet Airways guests that your favourite airline will soon be back in the skies.”
The revival plan for Jet Airways is being implemented as approved by NCLT and all the creditors will be settled as per the plan in the coming months. Sharing operational details, Captain Gaur says, “Jet Airways is a brand which has grown bigger and stronger over the last two decades. In its new avatar, Jet Airways will now be headquartered in Delhi NCR with its senior management working from the Corporate Office at Gurugram. However, Jet Airways will continue to have 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.”
He elaborates, “We will start with domestic operations on an all narrow-body aircraft fleet leased from major global aircraft lessors who have approached us, and with whom we continue to engage. Jet Airways has already hired 150+ full-time employees on its payroll and we are looking to onboard another 1,000+ employees FY 2021-22 across categories. The hiring will be in a phased manner and will be strictly on merit, to meet the operational requirements of the airline. The team at Jet Airways is committed to ensure that Jet Airways will restart its operations with its first flight from New Delhi to Mumbai by Q1 2022.”
Jalan, who expanded his business horizon by investing in multiple paper manufacturing units in India, diversifying his business into mining, trading, FMCG, renewable energy, and other financial and strategic investments across the globe, got involved with the aviation industry in early 2020, when he initiated discussions with the Government of Uzbekistan to develop an International Airport in Namangan City. He then took an interest in the bidding process for Jet Airways when it opened for the fourth time in May 2020. While major aviation companies decided to stay away from new acquisitions, he saw potential in Jet Airways, India’s oldest private airline with a history of more than 25 years.
The aviation sector was deeply hit by COVID-19 but was also helped in a way that it underwent substantial correction and created an opportune time to start an airline. Given the potential in Indian aviation and with aircraft and human capital available in abundance, Jalan knew there was no better time to enter the Indian aviation market. In no time, he put together a core team to lead the process and on October 17, 2020, he was announced as a successful bidder for the airline.
Kalrock Capital, is an investment group founded by serial entrepreneur Florian Fritsch, who has partnered with some of the world’s most influential families and organisations via Kalrock Partners. The group provides a combination of investment and advisory services in financial, marketing, managerial and legal matters to all its partners and most importantly facilitates meaningful strategic relationships accessing investment opportunities with global impact. Florian’s track record is all about timing and execution. He is said to be a Conscious Capitalist, interested in leaving a positive impact via his investment strategy. His relationships to date span multi-family offices, venture capital and private equity funds, insurance companies and industrial conglomerates. The group has been investing successfully into alternative asset classes over the past 20 years, both as a principal investor, as well as in co-investment syndicates.