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Business News/ Companies / News/  Jalan-Kalrock to order 200 aircraft for Jet Airways

NEW DELHI : The Jalan-Kalrock consortium has begun planning to order 200 aircraft after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) declined to halt the ownership transfer as requested by the lenders, according to two people familiar with the development.

The order could be announced as early as June, the people said, requesting anonymity.

“Jalan-Kalrock is in talks with aircraft OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to place an order of at least 200 planes of mix small, medium and large narrow body jets at the Paris airshow in June for their growth plan for five years," one of the people said.

The airline’s plan is to keep the aircraft mix in a manner that the airline is able to tap the market opportunity within India—a blend of core metro markets and markets in smaller cities that have also registered significant growth in recent times.

To be sure, the airline had, in the past, too, indicated that it would place a large order and was considering planes from Boeing and Airbus . They, however, could not proceed due to opposition from lenders.

Jet Airways and the consortium did not reply to Mint’s queries till press time.

Aviation analysts say ordering large aircraft is key for an airline’s long-term strategy.

“One key element for the Airline business is the long-term availability of equipment optimized for the planned network at the most economical cost. Any order from Jet Airways has to be sufficient numbers and different types of aircraft to ensures Jet Airways will have the right size equipment to support its planned network .We beleive Jet Airways will need between 250-300 Aircraft order to support it’s 8-10 years induction plan," said Vishok Mansingh, chief executive officer of Vman, an aviation leasing firm..

Jet Airways’ 200-aircraft order will further buttress the growth potential of the Indian aviation market, which saw the order of 470 aircraft by Air India, making it the world’s largest single order by an airline. IndiGo is also in discussions with aircraft manufacturers for a 500 aircraft order, and Akasa, which had placed an order of 72 aircraft in Nov 2021, is now set to announce a “three-digit" order by the end of 2023, according to news reports. For context, India today has 700 registered planes that operate commercial flights in the country.

On Wednesday, the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) refused to stay an NCLT order of 13 January, which allowed Jet Airways Ltd’s ownership transfer to the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, the successful resolution applicant, as Jet Airways’ return to skies reached its final phase.

“The plan needs to be implemented as approved by the NCLT," the NCLAT bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said, declining to entertain the lenders’ plea. It had further added that the lenders must move forward in implementing the resolution plan without further delay. On 8 February, lenders moved the NCLAT challenging the NCLT order. Consortium and lenders have been at odds over implementing the resolution plan approved in June 2021, delaying the airline’s launch by October 2022.

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Updated: 06 Mar 2023, 06:24 AM IST
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