The Indian aviation market will soon become more competitive, with a start-up called Jettwings Airways (Guwahati) eyeing an October 2023 launch. The entity's chairman, Sanjive Narain, spoke at a media event on June 14 and said the start-up has successfully secured its no objection certificate and, contingent on its gaining its air operator's permit (AOP) and a pair of E175s,will start flying in early 4Q23.

The start-up will use Guwahati, located in the northeast Indian state of Assam, as its base, and wants to connect the capitals in the country's northeast. "The first phase of our plan will be to operate two aircraft for six months in the northeast, after which we will expand operations and connect Guwahati to tier-II cities like Lucknow, Kolkata, and Gorakhpur," said Narain.

The chairman said he would lease the dual cabin Embraers from Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City), becoming the first commercial airline to do so from the company, and is in talks with another potential lessor, Volark Leasing IFSC, to take additional aircraft after launch. Narain says he wants to have five aircraft in the air after 12 months of operations and is eyeing a step up from the E175s to the larger E2 types. He says the promoters have set aside INR1 billion rupees (USD12.2 million) to fund JettWings Airways' launch phase. However, a further INR5 billion (USD61 million) will be sought from investors to fund expansion. The chairman says the carrier expects to break even with three years of operations and eventually wants to expand into Nepal, Bhutan, and other nearby nations.

The JettWings brand is best known in India for its long-established aviation crew training courses it runs at Guwahati. Narain also has interests across the construction, telecoms, health, automobile, and media industries, including being the founder of AM Television Pvt Ltd and owner of the 24-hour Assamese news channel, Prag News. The airline's CEO is Sanjay Aditya Singh, who oversees the training school and sits on the boards of various JettWing companies.

JettWings Airways will not be a low-cost carrier. "We see a growing appetite for luxury services in the north-eastern states in India, and we want to tap into that market," said Narain. The airline will offer a business class cabin and bells and whistles, such as a frequent flyer program. "We will have comfortable seats, better legroom, on-board catering and will offer dynamic fares," he said.

Narain says he intends to apply for the AOC by September. Based on that, he maintains an October start is possible but admits a launch later in the quarter is also probable. He says JettWings Airways has already secured a no-objection certificate from India's civil aviation ministry.