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Jet Airways revival hits new snag as more employees quit amid uncertainty

In the past week, senior employees, including the company secretary, accountable manager and chief security officer, have quit Jet Airways

Jet had shut its operations in April 2019 and was taken to the insolvency court two months after by its lenders.

BS Web Team New Delhi

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Jet Airways' chances of revival are dwindling by the day, with the majority of its employees having left the airline. This could effectively end the efforts of the Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC), which won the bid two years ago, a report by the Financial Express (FE) said.

Senior employees, including the company secretary, accountable manager and chief security officer, have quit the grounded airline in the past week. 

Jet's head of flight operations, director of flight safety and director of training all resigned a few months ago.

Sources told FE that there are not many people left in the airline.

The funds never arrived, and the team became concerned and began to leave the company, said the source, adding the vice president of airport services and head of ground operations are still there. However, everybody has lost hope.

Meanwhile, Sanjiv Kapoor, CEO-designate and Vipula Gunatilleka, chief financial officer appointed by JKC, are still with the entity.

Jet Airways' AOC renewal

Following the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) ruling in favour of JKC, the company was given 180 days to pay Rs 180 crore to the airline's former creditors and Rs 250 crore to its former employees. While May 14 is the deadline, the consortium has not yet made any payments.

According to the NCLT's order from January 13, JKC had complied with all prerequisite requirements outlined in the resolution plan, clearing the way for the lenders to transfer ownership of the airline to the winning bidder.

Another source told FE that JKC would need to reapply for the air operator's certificate, even if it makes the payment. 

"And under current circumstances, it appears unlikely that the airline's Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) will be renewed," he added.

Why is AOC renewal necessary?

Not only is it necessary to apply for AOC renewal at least 90 days before the expiry date, but also, the inspection needs to be carried out by the inspectors of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation prior to the renewal of the AOC.

"Renewal of AOC will necessitate induction of five aircraft, which appears to be impossible for Jet Airways at the time. The AOC can be obtained with one serviceable aircraft, but it is only valid for five years if obtained with a minimum of five aircraft. If it is less than that, it will be one year," sources said.

The AOC, which essentially allows an airline to begin commercial operations, must be renewed by Jet Airways 2.0 by May 19.

While Jet Airways received the AOC with the help of two aircraft in its fleet in May 2022, the company currently has only one aircraft in its fleet, a Boeing 737-800, according to the DGCA website. 

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First Published: Apr 28 2023 | 11:20 AM IST

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