Among executives who have been approached are former president and CEO of IndiGo Aditya Ghosh, Wolfgang Prock Schauer, current president and Chief Operating Officer at IndiGo and Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer of IndiGo.
The new owners of Jet Airways have started scouting for executives they can rope in leadership roles.
Industry sources said that the owners have, over the past one month, reached out to a few industry veterans who have years of experience of operating airlines in Indian environment.
Among executives who have been approached are former president and CEO of IndiGo Aditya Ghosh, Wolfgang Prock Schauer, current president and chief operating officer at IndiGo and Sanjay Kumar, chief strategy and revenue officer of IndiGo.
Sources aware of the plans said that for leadership roles, owners want executives who have experience to handle both operational and government affairs roles.
Ghosh, with over 10 years as CEO of IndiGo, had been intricately involved in the day-to-day operations of the airline, apart from handling affairs at the ministry of civil aviation.
Ghosh played a big role in turning IndiGo into India’s most profitable airline, post which he joined hospitality start-up Oyo.
He later vacated the role and was elevated to the board.
Prock Scahuer had been CEO of both Jet Airways and Mumbai-based airline Go Air before moving to IndiGo where in his current role as COO he frequently interacts with aviation regulator DGCA and Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Similarly, Kumar who worked as IndiGo’s CCO for 11 years had moved to AirAsia India as COO only to rejoin IndiGo as chief strategy and revenue officer earlier this year.
As COO in AirAsia, Kumar handled government affairs for the airline.
None of them replied to Business Standard’s query on the above topic.
The bankrupt airline that last flew on 17 April 2019 is undergoing an ownership change through a successful resolution process under Insolvency and Bankruptcy laws of the country.
Last month, the lenders to Jet Airways voted in favour of a consortium comprising of businessman Murari Lal Jalan and financial investment firm Kalrock Capital to take over the airline which was grounded almost two years as it ran out of cash.
The winning bid attracted over 99 per cent votes, with lenders overwhelmingly voting for a revival instead of recovery through liquidation.
The plan submitted by the winners includes a cash amount of Rs 1,000 crore.
Banks also get 9.5 per cent of equity in Jet Airways and 7.5 per cent equity in loyalty rewards company InterMiles (formerly Jet Privilege).
However, industry sources said that it will be difficult for the new Jet owners to attract veteran executives unless they have a concrete stable plan.
“There has to be clarity about the plan, fund infusion and future roadmap of the airline.
“Without that no person with rich experience will find it suitable to join.
“We have seen from our experience that skilled and experienced executives in the aviation industry always look for stability more than anything else.
“The rate of failures in this industry is higher as compared to others. Hence, people are very cautious,” an executive of a headhunter firm said.
As part of the resolution process, the Kalrock-Jalan consortium has deposited security performance and the resolution professional has submitted the plan to NCLT.
As part of the resolution plan, the new owners plans to induct 20 aircraft in the first year and scale up to 100 aircraft in 5 years.
However, the viability of the plan depends on the availability of slots and bilateral rights.
Sources in the government said that Jet Airways will have to reapply for airport slots and clear all requisite parameters for restarting operations.
That will include security clearance for new promoters, management and also having a fleet of 20 aircraft for being eligible to operate on international routes.
Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
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