India has the fastest growing aviation market in the world, yet competition is fierce. State subsidised Air India continues to lumber along, losing money all the way, while low-cost carrier IndiGo continues to be profitable as the popular market leader.
Majority privately owned Jet Airways only a year ago had the largest share of international traffic out of India among the Indian based airlines. The airline ran into financial trouble and services ceased on 17 April 2019. Will they restart?
Reasons Why Jet Airways Won’t Fly Again
Slots used by Jet Airways at London Heathrow which were leased from Etihad have now been returned. Etihad will now operate 14 new services per week from Abu Dhabi starting 27 May 2019. The rest will be used by Air Serbia, who will fly a daily service from Belgrade from 20 May 2019.
There is a rule that airlines have to use or lose slots, so it is not surprising to see these reallocated. It does not bode well for Jet Airways future though.
Other signs that the airline may be finished is the fact various lessors have had aircraft on lease struck from the Indian register. According to Flight Global, 60 aircraft have already been deregistered with another 18 requests pending.
An airline with no aircraft is going to have some difficulty flying again. Even if a buyer does materialise to continue operating the airline, it will be a long shot. The process for bids closed on 10 May 2019, so time will tell what happens here.
What Are The Competition Doing?
SpiceJet have moved quickly to capitalise on Jet Airways’ collapse, opening 77 new domestic and international routes since 1 April. They have even leased former Jet Airways aircraft, even though the dual cabin premium setup of those aircraft doesn’t match the rest of the low cost carrier’s fleet.
The point of that is to use the slots and hopefully get them permanently down the track. Other carriers such as AirAsia India are expanding, while IndiGo, clear market leader, are reportedly not fundamentally changing their strategy. More information is available from the Financial Times.
When lessors start to repossess their aircraft, you know things are pretty grim. With slots being reallocated and with no operations for almost a month, I think the chances of Jet Airways flying again are slim.
Stranger things have happened though and anything can happen in the aviation industry. Still, it would surprise me to see them take to the sky once more.
What do you think, will Jet Airways fly again or is the party over? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Maarten Visser and Boeing 737 by Rick Schlamp.
IndiGo by Alan Wilson. All images via Wikimedia Commons.