The acquisition of Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai Int'l) by the consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and Dubai-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan might require a separate security clearance from the government, even if the court approves it, Zee News has reported.

During ongoing proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) filed an affidavit requesting a security review of the deal. This comes after earlier reports had linked Jalan to the Gupta brothers, who have been designated by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control concerning multiple corruption charges in South Africa. Jalan has strongly denied any ties to the Gupta family and refuted allegations that his takeover offer is a front for their foray into the Indian aviation market.

The DGCA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation previously said that Jet Airways would not be able to use slots and traffic rights it held before its April 2019 collapse, giving investors yet another headache.

Although creditors approved Jet's takeover in October 2020, the NCLT has yet to greenlight the transaction and the national security clearance is certain to further complicate and prolong the proceedings. The carrier outlined that it would need about six months after the NCLT's approval before it resumes scheduled operations.

Meanwhile, several leading media outlets, including Business Standard, Business Today, and CNBC TV18, have all reported, citing their respective sources, that Jet's former chief executive, Vinay Dube, is planning to launch a new carrier in India.

According to the plan, the start-up would launch with five narrowbody jets before the end of 2021. Dube and his co-founders Praveen Iyer and Nikhil Ved are said to have already held preliminary talks with the DGCA, as well as with Airbus and Boeing. No further details were revealed.

Dube was the last CEO of Jet Airways before its collapse. He held the post between June 2017 and May 2019. Subsequently, he served as the CEO of low-cost carrier GoAir (G8, Mumbai Int'l) between February and August 2020.