Three years after being grounded due to a cash crunch, Jet Airways has seen its aircraft again take off on Thursday. The aircraft took off from Hyderabad airport and landed back there after a 90-minute test flight. Later, on the same day, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft left Hyderabad for Delhi. The airline expects to start proving flights in the coming days and resume commercial operations in the September 2022 quarter.
“Today, May 5, our 29th birthday, Jet Airways flew again! An emotional day for all of us who have been waiting, working and praying for this day, as well as for Jet’s loyal customers who can’t wait for Jet to commence operations again,” Jet Airways said in a tweet on Thursday.
The airline said it was a test flight and proving flights are scheduled for the coming days. Proving flights are operated as part of the process of getting an air operator certification (AOC) by an airline. In this case of Jet, it would mean the revalidation of the AOC.
“This is to clarify that Jet Airways operated a test flight in Hyderabad earlier today, and a positioning ferry flight to Delhi thereafter. These were not proving flights. We expect to schedule proving flights in the coming days, which would be jointly determined with DGCA,” Jet Airways said in a late-night tweet on Thursday.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which was originally leased by the company but was subsequently leased by SpiceJet after Jet’s grounding, also left Hyderabad for Delhi.
“And, she’s here! Our aircraft, VT-SXE, operated a positioning flight this evening from Hyderabad to Delhi as 9W101. Some photos here of the aircraft in Delhi and of colleagues celebrating this momentous day!” the airline said in another tweet.
Know About Jet Airways’ Future Plan
Jet Airways has so far hired around 200 persons across functions for the upcoming operations. The operations are expected to start in the September 2022 quarter, according to the company’s spokesperson. “Jet Airways expects to start commercial operations in Q3 of this year, that is the July-September 2022 quarter,” the spokesperson said.
The company earlier this year appointed veteran aviation executive Sanjiv Kapoor, who helped steer SpiceJet Ltd through a turbulent period, as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Jet Airways India Ltd. It also appointed former Sri Lankan Airlines CEO Vipula Gunatilleka as the chief financial officer (CFO).
Sanjiv Kapoor on Thursday also posted his photo with Vipula on social media site Twitter, saying “Our CFO Vipula and I celebrating the return of the @jetairways call-sign and aircraft to the skies today, a re-birth on Jet’s birthday.”
The airline, which started on May 5, 1993, operated its last commercial flight on April 18, 2019, as it collapsed under a pile of debt. Subsequently, it entered bankruptcy proceedings and was acquired by a consortium of UAE-based businessman Murari Jalan and the UK-based Kalrock Capital. The consortium committed to repaying USD 60 million of the airline’s existing dues.
Shares of Jet Airways India on Friday were trading at 88.95 apiece, 3.13 per cent higher as compared with its previous close.