The new owners of India’s former full-service carrier Jet Airways are reportedly in talks with airplane manufacturers for a huge order. For months now, Jet Airways’ revival plans have intrigued industry professionals, former Jet loyalists, and aviation enthusiasts alike. News of Jet’s potential aircraft order worth billions has further added momentum to the carrier’s second attempt at taking to the skies. Here’s what we know so far…
New owners of Jet Airways are reportedly planning a new airplane order. Photo: Getty Images
A report by Bloomberg News suggests that the new owners of Jet Airways, the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, are in conversation with both Boeing and Airbus for an order of at least 100 narrowbodies for around $12 billion.
Ankit Jalan, the nephew of one of the winning bidders Murari Lal Jalan, spoke with Bloomberg about Jet 2.0’s resurrection strategy. If all goes according to plan, the group could infuse around $200 million via equity and debt over the next six months.
The latest news follows a series of steps in the carrier’s revival plans – from the new owners winning the bid and the National Companies Law Tribunal (NCLT) approving Jet’s revival plan in June to the renewal process of the airline’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC).
The new order could be at least 100 narrowbodies worth almost $12 billion. Photo: Getty Images
Speaking about how Jet is gearing up for its relaunch in the coming few months, Jalan said,
“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.”
irbus or Boeing?
Jet Airways is left with just a handful of planes and will need fleet consolidation before restarting operations. The plan for 100+ airplanes is aligned with the company’s long-term expansion strategy, and the latest report has left many wondering whether the new planes will be American or European.
Airbus has delivered a hit with its A320neo family of jets, with customers lining up with purchase orders. Naturally, the European manufacturer’s delivery slots are booked for several years. But it’s being reported that Airbus is looking for a possible early delivery schedule, should a deal with Jet materialize.
While Airbus has its hands full with many A320 orders, Boeing could win over Jet with a competitive price for its MAX planes. Photo: Getty Images
Then we have Boeing, which recently got a new lease of life in India’s narrowbody market with a lucrative deal with Akasa. To further bolster its position in India, Boeing could offer a competitive price to Jet to outbid its European competitor. Jalan also hinted that Boeing could dust off the previous order of 225 MAX airplanes by Jet before it went bust.
Creating space again
The aviation landscape in India has seen significant changes since Jet Airways’ demise in 2019. Jet’s new owners are infusing working capital to resurrect a full-service airline at a time when Indian skies are set to witness a huge churn.
Jalan has said that Jet’s second stint will be like the first one – it will be a full-service carrier with a business class and a frequent flyer program. The airline will once again look to woo the corporate traveler, particularly on busy trunk routes as it once did in its glory days.
But with the Tatas most probably merging Air India and Vistara for a solid full-service product and the ever-hungry low-cost carriers dominating the domestic market, just how much space is left 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.”
What are your thoughts on Jet’s revival plan? Please share your comments below.