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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Jet Airways test flight takes off: What next?

The Jet Airways test flight, which was approximately 90 minutes long, landed back in Hyderabad, and happened in run up to the airline’s ‘proving flight’ that is expected to be conducted over the next few days.

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 6, 2022 1:51:22 pm
Jet Airways aircraft at Mumbai airport. (Express Photo: Pradip Das, File)

A Jet Airways aircraft took off from Hyderabad Airport a few minutes after 2pm on Thursday, in what was the airline’s first flight since it was grounded because of its poor financial situation back in 2019. This test flight, which was approximately 90 minutes long, landed back in Hyderabad, and happened in run up to the airline’s ‘proving flight’ that is expected to be conducted over the next few days. Later on Thursday evening, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft left Hyderabad for Delhi under the flight number 9W101.

What is the current situation of Jet Airways?

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.

What is a proving flight?

Proving flights are operated as part of the last stages of the process of getting an Air Operator Certification (AOC) by an airline. In Jet 2.0’s case, it would mean the revalidation of the AOC. Proving flights are operated with the pilots, cabin crew, DGCA officials, and any airline personnel required to support the flight. The ground operations of the airline as well as the cockpit and cabin crew of the flight are tested for their operational knowledge, and for adherence to pre-defined SOPs and regulatory guidelines.

Which aircraft is being used for Jet 2.0’s proving flight?

The proving flight for Jet Airways will be conducted on a Boeing 737-800 that was originally leased by the airline but was subsequently leased by SpiceJet upon Jet’s grounding.

What are Jet 2.0’s commercial plans?

The airline has already hired over 200 people across most major functions. The promoters have appointed former SpiceJet and Vistara executive Sanjiv Kapoor as CEO. The spokesperson cited above told The Indian Express: “We are in an advanced stage of determining our fleet plan, and will share once we are ready to share”. The spokesperson added the airline plans to start commercial operations in the September quarter.

What are some of the concerns in restart of Jet Airways?

The consortium was given a time of 270 days from the date of passing of the order by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in June 2021 to fulfil the conditions required for implementation of the revival plan, and this deadline was extended. The promoters will have to ensure all certifications for operating the airline are in place prior to the new deadline. Further, even as the promoters have committed to injecting $180 million as their initial investment, efficient operations with minimal cash burn will be essential for the airline’s survival once it takes off.

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