Jalan Kalrock Consortium, the successful bidder for Jet Airways, plans to restart operations for the defunct airline in four to six months after receiving NCLT approval for its resolution plan.
Jet Airways, the once-legendary full-service carrier, came to a standstill in early 2019 and is subsequently subject to proceedings under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).
In the context of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) likely to take a final appeal on the airline’s resolution plan, Murari Lala Jalan, lead member of the winning consortium, told PTI that “everything is on the right track. way “as far as stimulus efforts for the carrier are concerned.
Emphasizing that he is very positive about the Indian aviation sector, which is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Jalan said that initially Jet Airways would resume flights with around 25 planes.
“After NCLT’s decision, we will be able to start the airline within four to six months. I am very optimistic about Indian aviation and the future is bright,” Jalan said in a telephone conversation. .
“We’re very hopeful that (NCLT nods) will come,” he said, adding that a delay of a month or two here and there wouldn’t make a difference for something as important as the relaunch. of the airline.
In October last year, the consortium comprising UK-headquartered Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Jalan became the successful bidder for Jet Airways, which has not flown since. April 17, 2019.
According to Jalan, the airline is expected to resume service with around 25 planes, according to the stimulus package submitted to the Creditors Committee (CoC), later this year. The fleet is expected to be a mix of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft.
“We’ll start with passenger services. All options, whether it’s freight, or international (services) or whatever, are open,” Jalan said. The CoC led by the State Bank of India (SBI) has approved the resolution plan and under the IBC authorization from NCLT is required before the plan is implemented.
Noting that to resume overseas services a lot needs to be worked out, Jalan clarified that while there will be hundreds of things, including getting many clearances, the interest of the consortium is to come. (bring Jet Airways) to The Sky “.
“Everything is on track … In the future too it (things) might be delayed but we are very well on track,” Jalan said.
Justifying the consortium’s decision to relaunch Jet Airways at a time when the global aviation industry is in financial difficulty, he said the pandemic was the “best” time to make a foray into the airline industry because there was an advantage of cost.
“This is the best time for anyone to get into the airline business because due to the pandemic everything (like) the prices of inputs are going down. In production when we start things will be in a normal situation.” , he stressed.
Appearing optimistic, Jalan said that within four to six months, domestic air travel will be completely normal.
“We have already reached a level of 70 percent. Thus, our income will be in the normal situation and all our expenses, including the purchase of planes, will be down,” he noted.
Regarding business plans, Jalan said the consortium will look for people flying from places like Ranchi and Patna to destinations they want to go.
“If necessary, we will go to Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong … We are quite open … I would like to see people from small towns fly straight to the destinations they want to fly,” he said. declared.
In December of last year, the consortium announced that the Jet 2.0 hubs would remain in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru as before, as the recovery plan proposes to support Tier 2 and 3 cities by creating sub-hubs in these. cities.
With a view to restarting the airline subject to the approval of the resolution plan by the NCLT, the consortium has already had discussions with the Ministry of Civil Aviation on the issue of airport slots.
Once the airline resumes operations, Jalan said focusing on the right planes and human resources would be the two biggest challenges.
Deciding on the routes will be another important thing at the beginning and it is also necessary to control the costs.
“We see healthy competition, India is a great market … I think there are a lot of opportunities. We have the cost advantage. We bought the airline at a very attractive price. .”, did he declare.
Jalan also stressed that he was not at all “concerned” about the competition.
Asked about the optimism of the relaunch of Jet Airways, he said: “We are entrepreneurs. We are always looking for opportunities where possible. I am fortunate to have this opportunity at a very opportune time.”
However, specific details of the consortium’s business plans for the airline were not disclosed.
About his business activities, Jalan said that there are two smart city projects in Tashkent, and among other interests he is a shareholder of Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon.
Stating that he should be described as an “entrepreneur,” Jalan said, “I come from a small town in Ranchi. I have no experience dealing with people in Delhi and Mumbai. Although I have left Ranchi 30 years ago, I search anytime and anywhere there are opportunities.I have businesses in many countries including Russia, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates …
When asked about the possibility of the consortium hiring a strategic investor for additional funding, he said: “I don’t think I’m ready for this. I’m not looking at any opportunity like this. But nothing can be ruled out. “.
(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)
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