Jet Airways is in the process of finalising a new deal for its fleet and is expected to sign the deal in the next couple of weeks, multiple sources aware of the matter told Moneycontrol.
“The timeline for delivery of planes is being finalised as the airline is very keen to start increasing its operations once it takes flight. Once the timelines are finalised, the deal will be signed and announced,” a senior company official said.
He added that at the moment Jet Airways has not made a final decision on the type of aircraft it wants to procure and the contract is mostly going to depend on the manufacturer’s ability to deliver planes in a timely manner.
“Jet Airways wants to start taking delivery of new planes by the end of 2023 or even before that and will look to take delivery of around 20 planes every year for the next four years,” an industry insider aware of the discussions said.
On June 27, Bloomberg reported that the once-defunct Indian airline now on its way to revival was set to finalise an order worth $5.5 billion with Airbus SE.
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“The talks are for A320neo jets and A220 planes,” Bloomberg reported, quoting unnamed sources. The final decision, however, hasn’t been taken, Bloomberg said.
Jet Airways currently has a fleet of nine planes—five Boeing 777s and four Boeing 737s.
On its comeback trail, the domestic carrier plans to make its inaugural scheduled flight from Delhi to Mumbai in July-September.
With its current fleet, the airline is looking to operate select flights from July-September and gradually ramp up operations to ensure a smooth switch to long-haul routes starting in 2022-23, a senior executive said.
Apart from daily flights between Delhi and Mumbai by September, Jet Airways also plans to offer five weekly flights to Bengaluru and three to Chennai from both Delhi and Mumbai. Following this, the airline plans to start operating three weekly flights to Hyderabad and Jaipur as well, officials said.
Jet Airways had on May 17 successfully completed all its “proving flights”. A proving flight is part of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA)-mandated process for the induction of a new aircraft type in an airline’s fleet. The flight allows the operator to demonstrate to the DGCA the airline’s ability to operate a flight safely and in line with rules and regulations. With DGCA officials on board, Jet Airways had successfully operated five proving flights on May 15 and 17.
Jet last week invited its former cabin crew to re-join the airline. In May the airline had announced the appointment of a new leadership team with Mark Turner joining as vice-president, inflight product and services, Prabh Sharan Singh as chief digital officer, HR Jagannath as vice-president, engineering, and Vishesh Khanna as vice-president, sales, distribution and customer engagement.
Jet is planning to come back with a hybrid of premium and low-cost services, CEO Sanjiv Kapoor said in April. It will have a two-class configuration where business class passengers will be offered services including free meals, while economy class flyers will pay for meals and other services, he said.
The Naresh Goyal-founded Jet Airways, which operated its first commercial flight on May 5, 1993, flew commercially for the last time on April 18, 2019, as it collapsed under a pile of debt. The company then entered bankruptcy proceedings, and was acquired by a consortium of UAE-based businessman Murari Jalan and UK-based Kalrock Capital.The consortium has committed to a funding of $180 million, of which $60 million will be used to repay the airline’s existing dues.