By Swaraj Baggonkar
Jet Airways CEO Sanjiv Kapoor said that the company is “tracking close to target” of getting the troubled carrier airborne, amid resignations of three senior executives that has upset the airline’s first flight.
The company, led by owners Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC), received the crucial air operator’s certificate (AOC) in May, which allows the airline to commence commercial operations.
However, plans for Jet’s first flight have been plagued by multiple appeals filed before the NCLAT (National Company Law Appellate Tribunal) against the National Company Law Tribunal-cleared resolution plan of JKC, leading to the delay.
Kapoor tweeted, “There is no ‘deadline’. Our internal goal that we are working towards is to open for sale by October. We are tracking close to the target.”
Jet Airways, which last took to the skies in April 2019 under the management headed by Naresh Goyal, was initially expected to fly again this month.
Last month, Jet Airways’ first batch of cabin crew started service training from its Gurugram centre. More than half of the batch is former Jet crew.
“This is a marathon, not a sprint. Getting it right is more important than being in haste and then repenting at leisure,” Kapoor added.
Over the last few weeks, Jet Airways lost its director of flight operations, director of flight safety and director training, due to resignations. These three were ‘post holders’ when the airline sought the AOC from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Jet Airways will have to approach the DGCA again to get approvals for new post holders, without which it cannot commence operations.
In May, the All India Jet Airways’ Officer & Staff Association filed an appeal before the NCLAT against JKC’s resolution plan for the airline. In its petition, the association prayed for complete payments of the gratuity, unpaid wages, privilege leave encashment, bonus and retrenchment compensation to all workers and employees.
A consortium of lenders, led by State Bank of India, filed an insolvency petition in June 2019 to recover outstanding dues worth over `8,000 crore against Jet Airways.