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Friday, May 20, 2022

Jet Airways To Begin Hiring Pilots Following 2 Year Grounding

After 27 months of dormancy, Jet Airways’ Twitter account came back into action. The airline has begun directly communicating with the public again, providing updates about its offer to former employees, and confirming plans to restart flights. However, yesterday, it announced a big step in the process: hiring.

Jet Airways has published a form to hire ‘experienced pilots’ for its operations. All interested pilots have to include details regarding their type rating, license validity, medical exam, flying hours, and more. It’s unclear how many pilots the airline is looking to hire and if it will give priority to ex-Jet Airways employees.

Jet Airways Pilots
Jet Airways still has hundreds of pilots on its employee rolls but is still publicly seeking applications. Photo: Getty Images

So which aircraft will the airline by flying? Well, Jet Airways is accepting applications for virtually any aircraft type. The form accepts type ratings for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320, along with widebodies like the 787, A330, and 777.

The end of the form only requests further details about the A320 and 737 ratings, which are the most likely aircraft to be chosen for restarting operations. Jet Airways previously operated some of these planes, although not the 787, which was on order, or any of the A320 family.

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More to come

One month after its plan was accepted by the bankruptcy court, Jet Airways is finally finding its feet. While the airline has been busy working on settling claims with its creditors and employees, it is now looking onward to actually kicking off operations.

From the outset, the Kalrock-Jalan consortium has said that it will only rehire a handful of staffers back to the new airline. Only 50 out of nearly 4,000 employees who were holding out hope for a job with the new will find one. Most will likely have to reapply to the airline for limited positions available.

Jet Airways Boeing 777
Salaries will be reduced even for the 50 employees who automatically join the new airline. Photo: Getty Images

The coming weeks will tell us more about if Jet Airways 2.0 will pick up more employees from application forms. However, given the fleet size is expected to be smaller than 30 aircraft at launch, positions will be few and heavily competitive.

Tough market

Jet Airways’ return to the market will coincide with many changes. After a tough year, the industry is rearing back to action and new entrants will likely struggle to secure a large market share early on. Moreover, news players like Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air and potential TrueJet expansion will all make India a more crowded market.

To stand out, Jet Airways will need to bring back loyal customers and double down on a full-service model. However, if this will work a second time, remains to be seen.

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