The Jalan-Kalrock consortium is set to take ownership of Jet Airways (JAI, Mumbai International) as the airline’s former financing banks are now unlikely to challenge a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) ruling that refused to halt the transfer of ownership, sources told the Business Line newspaper on March 1. Five days later, the Indian financial daily Mint revealed, also citing sources, that the consortium had begun planning for ordering 200 aircraft.

Two unnamed people familiar with the matter told Mint that an aircraft order could be announced as early as June.

“Jalan-Kalrock is in talks with aircraft OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] to place an order of at least 200 planes of a mix of small, medium, and large narrowbody jets at the Paris Air Show in June for their growth plan of five years,” one of the insiders said.

The mix of sizes would ensure that the restarting carrier is able to tap the market opportunities that exist within India - a blend of the country’s biggest “core metro markets” and smaller cities that have seen significant growth in recent times, the source explained.

The airline has already indicated that it would place a significant order to power its relaunch and that Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer aircraft were all under evaluation. In June 2022, it was reportedly close to selecting Airbus as its new fleet supplier. But it could not proceed with any order due to opposition from Jet Airways’ former lenders.

Such an order would add to others planned and/or recently announced by a rejuvenated Air India (finalised at 470 aircraft), Akasa Air (72 aircraft and reportedly planning to reveal a “three-digit” order by the end of 2023), and IndiGo Airlines (reportedly in discussions for an order of about 500 jets).

On March 1, the NCLAT refused to stay a National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) judgement of January 13 that allowed Jet Airways’ ownership transfer to the Jalan-Kalrock consortium. The banks had challenged the earlier ruling on February 8.

“The plan needs to be implemented as approved by the NCLT,” the NCLAT bench stressed, declining to entertain the plea the lenders had lodged. “No stay granted to them.”

However, it is possible, Business Line, reported, that the lenders may now seek to appeal this latest ruling in the Supreme Court.