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Jet Airways May Touch the Skies Again by End-September to Early October, Says CEO

Jet Airways is likely to fly again by end-September to October under new promoters, the private carrier’s chief executive officer told multiple news outlets recently. Sanjiv Kapoor, the CEO of Jet Airways, said the airlines is targetting to fly its aircrafts in the July-September quarter after the revalidation of AOC (air operators certificate) is cleared, which it aims to do by early May. Proving flight operations is  expected to start by the end of this month, using leased Boeing 737 aircraft, he said.

” It is a very complicated, lengthy and stringent process and we’re in final stages now. We want to make sure that all the pieces are in place. We expect a few more months after the Air Operator Permit (AOP) to be ready to restart operations. Our plan is to take off by October, potentially a bit earlier, but its going take us a few months for us to be able to fly again,” he told ET now in an interview.

As per the resolution plan approved by the National Company Law Tribunal in June last year, Jet Airways has to obtain its air operator certificate (AOC) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation by March 22 this year. The Kalrock Capital-Murari Lal Jalan consortium had urged the tribunal to extend this deadline by two months. Kapoor has now said that it will complete the process by this month.

The AOC permit will allow the Karlock-Jalan consortium to  make more investments, which can be used for getting parking slots at airports. The consortium had in December last year said it wants to infuse funds in the airline to fast track its revival process.

The CEO also told Mint that the fleet of Jet Airways 2.0 will run on lease for at least for the initial year, and there are a lot of aircrafts to consider in this regard — both old and new. “We will decide what’s best for us given our needs, and cost benefits. I don’t want to give a precise number, but we know it’s important to reach a certain scale quickly as it is a very scale driven business. Of course, when we place an aircraft order, it will be for modern and fuel-efficient planes,” he said.

On controlling costs of flights amid rising jet fuel prices, the Jet Airways CEO said that while fuel price is not in their control, other costs can determine the competitive advantages. “These are not only aircraft maintenance, and engine maintenance contracts but also other contracts like IT, ground handling, outside service provider contracts, call centre contracts, distribution costs, etc. Each one of these costs has to be controlled,” he told Mint in the interview.

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