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The Revived Jet Airways Is Preparing A Huge New Aircraft Order
According to reports, the new owners of India’s former full-service airline Jet Airways are in negotiations with aircraft manufacturers about placing a large order. Jet Airways’ ambitions for a comeback have seized the interest of industry insiders, former Jet fans, and aviation enthusiasts for months. The news of the airline’s probable billion-dollar aircraft deal has given the carrier’s second attempt at flying even more momentum.
Taking The Indian Market By Storm
According to Bloomberg News, Jet Airways’ new owners, the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, are in talks with both Boeing and Airbus about placing an order for at least 100 narrowbody planes, with a budget of roughly $12 billion.
Ankit Jalan, the nephew of one of the winning bidders, Murari Lal Jalan, spoke with Bloomberg about the revival plan for Jet 2.0 — as some have taken to calling it. If all goes according to plan, the company might invest roughly $200 million in the next six months through equity and loans.
The newest development comes after a string of events in the airline’s resurrection efforts, including the new owners winning the bid and the National Companies Law Tribunal approving Jet’s revival plan in June, as well as the renewal of the airline’s Air Operator Certificate.
Speaking about how Jet is gearing up for its relaunch in the coming few months, Jalan told Bloomberg, “We are working on all the things that we need to do to make an airline operational — whether that’s the training infrastructure, whether that’s the IT systems, whether it’s the marketing plan — all that is being worked upon as we speak. All these things will come beautifully together in the next two or three months.”
Airbus or Boeing?
Jet Airways is down to just a few planes and will need to consolidate its fleet before resuming operations. The company’s long-term expansion strategy is matched with the goal for 100+ jets, and the recent rumor has many asking if the new planes will be American or European.
With the A320neo family of planes, Airbus has a hit on its hands, with clients waiting up to place orders. The European manufacturer’s delivery slots are, of course, fully occupied for several years. However, if a contract with Jet materializes, it has been said that Airbus is searching for a possible early delivery timetable.
Then there’s Boeing, which has lately re-entered India’s narrowbody market thanks to a lucrative agreement with Akasa Airlines. Boeing might give comparable pricing to Jet to outbid its European competitor and strengthen its position in India. Jalan also hinted that Boeing could dust off the previous order of 225 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes by Jet before it went under.
Creating A New Space
Since Jet Airways’ collapse in 2019, India’s aviation environment has changed dramatically. Jet’s new owners are injecting working capital to restore a full-service airline at a time when India’s skies are expected to see a massive influx of passengers.
Jet’s second stint, according to Jalan, will be similar to the first: It will be a full-service airline with a business class and a frequent flyer program. The airline will try to court business travelers once more, especially on major trunk routes, as it did in the past.
But, with the Tatas likely to merge Air India and Vistara to create a robust full-service offering and the domestic market dominated by ever-hungry low-cost airlines, the biggest remaining question is how much room exists for Jet 2.0.
Jalan believes there is “enough room” in India for more airplanes and says that Jet also has the advantage of its legacy and loyal customer base, stating,
“The reaction that we saw of the Jet Airways brand coming back was motivation in itself. That’s exactly why Jet is coming back; to serve the loyal fan base, to serve the people who miss Jet.”
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