Exactly 29 years after it launched, Jet Airways has carried out a test flight using a Boeing 737-800 as it prepares to resume operations later in 2022.
The collapsed Indian carrier carried out the test flight on May 5, 2022, from Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad (HYD).
The aircraft will now position to Delhi, with a proving flight to be scheduled in the coming days, according to the airline’s chief executive. The proving flight is one of the final steps for the carrier to regain the aircraft operator’s certificate (AOC) needed for commercial operations.
“A very emotional moment for all the wonderful folks who have been working hard to get Jet back in the skies,” new chief executive Sanjiv Kapoor commented on Twitter.
The flight was carried out by aircraft registered VT-SXE. According to planespotters.net, the aircraft was delivered to Jet Airways in 2007, but has been leased to Indian rival Spicejet since July 2019. It has been back with Jet Airways since April 2022.
Today, May 5, our 29th birthday, Jet Airways flew again! An emotional day for all of us who have been waiting, working, and praying for this day, as well as for Jet’s loyal customers who can’t wait for Jet to commence operations again. pic.twitter.com/2HcSHa0bTS— Jet Airways (@jetairways) May 5, 2022
Jet Airways ceased operations in April 2019 following bankruptcy. However, it has now been bought by the Jalan Kalrock Consortium, which is working on reviving the carrier.
Kapoor has said the carrier wants to resume flying in the third quarter of 2022 (July-September), with plans for a full service airline that can compete with low-cost carrier fares. Jet Airways’ 9W flight code has also been restored ahead of the restart.
The consortium said in March that they were in talks with lessors and manufacturers to source aircraft for the carrier’s fleet. There had previously been reports that the new owners were looking to purchase at least 100 narrowbody Airbus or Boeing aircraft.
The revival of Jet Airways comes amidst a major shake-up in Indian aviation. Tata Sons has acquired Air India and is in the process of merging AirAsia India with the flag carrier. Meanwhile, low-cost start-up Akasa Air is also planning to launch operations this summer.