Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) plans to lease a B737 for AOC proving flights this month as it gears up to relaunch by October 2022 as a hybrid business model combining no-frills economy class with a premium business class product, according to Indian media reports.

"We are confident that we are very close to a proving flight. Proving flight is the last step. If you pass the last step, there's nothing preventing you from getting the Air Operator's Permit," Chief Executive Sanjiv Kapoor told Bloomberg.

India Today reports the carrier is gearing up to restart by October 2022 after it stopped services in April 2019 amid financial woes.

Kapoor told Bloomberg the carrier was still in talks with Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer concerning its future fleet, and refused to divulge any details. However, he conceded that the final choice would be driven primarily by long-term perspectives rather than by the short-term availability of delivery slots.

The carrier is restarting under a consortium between Murari Lal Jalan and Kalrock Capital. Under the terms of the restructuring plan approved last year, the new investors had until the end of March 2022 to recertify the carrier. However, in March they requested more time, until the end of May 2022, to prevent the lapsing of the approved restructuring plan. While the National Company Law Tribunal has yet to issue a verdict on the application, the airline's creditors - who remain its owners pending the recertification and transfer of ownership to the Murari Lal Jalan-Kalrock Capital consortium - have expressed their support for the extension. On April 1, the creditors estimated that the airline needed an additional 37 working days to complete its recertification.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways is already preparing its commercial offer. Kapoor said the airline's proposed business model was the best fit for the Indian market environment.

"It's very difficult in the domestic Indian market to take on the cost of the food and everything else in economy class, where the customer in India chooses primarily on the basis of fares. Let's just accept that, and let's not burden ourselves with extra cost," he explained.

Editorial Comment: Added the revised launch date in October 2022. - 20.04.2022 - 07:35 UTC