Jet 2.0 to stay full-service airline, keep original brand
NEW DELHI, Oct 19: "Keep it simple". This is the guiding principle for Londonbased Kalrock Capital and UAE businessman Murari Lal Jalan as this consortium try to get Jet Airways off the ground again by the middle of next year.
While Jet 2.0 will remain a full-service carrier (FSC) with business and economy sections and retain the original brand name, livery and logo, the new owners want to steer away from the complexities that eventually led to collapse of the Naresh Goyal-founded airline last April.
"We want to restart Jet Airways as soon as we are allowed to. There are very aggressive plans. This week itself we are meeting aircraft lessors in Dubai. We will begin with domestic flights with a single plane type and are in talks with Boeing, Airbus and aircraft lessors. In the second stage, we plan to have international flights with suitable aircraft (narrow- and wide-body mix)," Manoj N Madnani, board member of Kalrock Capital and spokesperson for the transaction, told TOI on Sunday.
The resolution professional for Jet will now seek final approval of NCLT for its ownership change, the first for an Indian carrier under the country's bankruptcy law.
Jet had over 17,000 employees when it was grounded last year and many of them are looking forward to resuming work. Asked if re-hiring ex-Jet employees, who would like to return, will be a priority HR agenda, Madnani said: "Human capital is very important. We will take a call on this issue shortly."
Industry insiders stressed upon the need for "cautious optimism". Running an airline is among the most capital-intensive businesses globally. In India, a majority of the private airlines and Air India are struggling to survive. It remains to be seen what type of financial and management strength Jet's new owners can bring to the table and whether that is enough to recreate the success Jet had in its first two decades, especially in the face of stiff competition at home. -TNN