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Jet Airways (India) Ltd is set to resume flights in the September quarter after more than three years as it received the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the civil aviation regulator on Friday, in what is likely to intensify competition among Indian carriers hit hard by high fuel prices.

Jet Airways received the AOC from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Founded by entrepreneur Naresh Goyal, the airline ran for about 25 years before it shuttered operations in April 2019 amid a massive cash crunch. The carrier is now owned by a consortium of UAE-based businessman Murarilal Jalan and British investor Kalrock Capital.

In June 2021, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved an insolvency resolution plan submitted by the Jalan-Kalrock consortium paving the way for the airline’s revival.

Jet Airways was the first airline to be revived through the NCLT-monitored bankruptcy resolution process.

The fresh AOC received by Jet Airways has a one-year validity, according to a copy of the certificate reviewed by Mint.

Jet Airways’ previous AOC under the ownership of Goyal was issued on 13 February 1995 and expired after the airline was grounded in 2019.

“We are committed to making this an extraordinary success story in Indian aviation and in Indian business," said Jalan, the lead member of the consortium.

“We will not only live up to the great expectations from brand Jet Airways, but also exceed them in many ways for today’s discerning flyers," he said.

“We are grateful to have received the revalidated AOC, the culmination of months of effort by a fantastic and dedicated team that never wavered in its faith and belief that Jet Airways would fly again, backed by the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, by the resolution professional, and by the committee of creditors who were equally determined to see Jet fly again," said Jet Airways chief executive Sanjiv Kapoor.

The airline’s return to skies comes amid a recovery in travel demand.

However, airlines face a challenge with the increase in the prices of jet fuel, which make up to 40% of the cost of running an airline in India, and a weaker rupee.

The Jalan-Kalrock consortium has committed $180 million of initial funding for Jet Airways, including $120 million to fund the airline and $60 million for making NCLT settlements.

The airline will also utilize proceeds from sale and leaseback of older aircraft to fund its operations. Jet Airways will lease planes to restart its operations and place an aircraft order for modern and fuel-efficient planes in the near future, Kapoor had said in an interview last month.

“It is important to reach a certain scale quickly as it is a very scale driven business," Kapoor said.

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