JettWings has received the No Objection Certificate from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
India is set to get another new airline on the block, this time from the North East region which will focus on connectivity in the North Eastern and Eastern region of India to begin with. On Wednesday, the airline JettWings announced that it has received the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation and is likely to begin operations by October this year.
The new entrant, JettWings Airways, will be based out of Guwahati in Assam and it will be headquartered in Assam. Jettwings Chairman Sanjive Narain told The Sunday Guardian in Delhi on Wednesday that it will begin its operations with two Embraer E–Jets which they will procure on lease.
Narain also said that the airline would begin operations under the UDAAN or regional connectivity scheme of the government through which it would connect the North East Region by air. It also said that Guwahati would become the base for the airline where the airline would carry passengers from other regions of the North East to Guwahati and connect them further to the other parts of India.
Asked about what kind of services the new airline will be providing, Sanjive Narain told this newspaper that this airline would have a mix of both business and premium economy class. “As the people of the North East want to experience luxury and no other full service carrier flies to the North East region, we have decided to begin our operations with 4 rows of Business class seat configuration which makes about 12 Business class seats and 56 economy class seats in the aircraft,” Sanjive Narain told The Sunday Guardian.
The JettWings airways chairman also said that the airline will be leasing these aircraft and negotiations are already closed. “We are expecting the first two aircraft to be handed over to us by October and once we have the aircraft, we will begin the operations. We will not keep the aircraft grounded or lying idle for even a single day. We have done all our preparations for the last one year. We have already trained and hired crews and pilots for operations of the airline. We are certain that we will make it big in this sector,” Sanjive Narain said.
The promoters of the airline have pumped in Rs 100 crore of initial funding into the airlines and JettWings will have five aircraft in their fleet within the first year of their operations. Narain further said that they have good relations with their banking partners who could fund the airlines when needed. “However, we are not raising funds at the moment, we will look into this when it is needed,” Narain said.
The airline also informed that they have already received slots for airports within the North East region and would be connecting to all the seven states of the North East, beginning this October. It also further said that as part of their long term planning, the airline would further venture out to the international sector under the UDAAN’s international scheme where it would connect the North East with countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The new entrant in the block has taken the plunge into the airline industry which is termed as a risky market by economists owing to the high cost of operations and uncertainty in the market. However, the promoters have expressed their confidence in the Indian market and have said that the North East region has a huge potential for tourism and travel and are positive that the airline would become profitable in the coming months.