Stock - Sanjiv Kapoor Jet Airways CEO
Jet Airways will relaunch services sometime this month, based on current plans, with the first flight from Delhi to Mumbai. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: India’s Jet Airways – now owned by a UAE-based investor – has appointed former Vistara executive Sanjiv Kapoor as the airline’s new CEO. Kapoor, currently President of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, will be joining from April 4.

Prior to joining Oberoi, Kapoor was the chief strategy and commercial officer at Vistara, a Tata-Singapore Airline joint venture, from 2016 until 2019. During his tenure, the airline grew from nine aircraft and 40 flights a day to 38 aircraft and over 200 flights a day. Before Vistara, Kapoor led SpiceJet through its turnaround in 2014-15 as its chief operating officer and de facto CEO from November 2013 until October 2015, shepherding the airline through a period of record high oil prices and a cash crunch.

“I am happy to have Sanjiv join our team,” said Murari Lal Jalan, Lead Partner of the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium and proposed Non-Executive Chairman of Jet Airways. “Sanjiv is a people’s person and has all qualities of a great leader. I am certain he will be able to lead Jet Airways and make it become the most preferred full-service carrier of India.

“Sanjiv is a seasoned aviation professional who has the right blend and demeanor to stitch a team together,” said Jalan.

Kapoor, a Wharton MBA, started his airline career with Northwest Airlines (now merged with Delta) in the US in 1997, where he worked in finance and corporate planning. In 2004, he joined Bain and Company (in Singapore, and subsequently in Dallas and London) as a leader in their airline practice, working with global airline clients on various projects.

“Even though Jet Airways has been out of operation for three years, it still has a large fan base of loyal customers who miss it every day and can’t wait for it to take to the skies again,” said Kapoor. “Working together with a very strong team of experienced aviation professionals that is being put together by the Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, I look forward to leading the charge in rebuilding Jet Airways into the most preferred customer-oriented airline once again, a people-focused airline for the digital age.”

2022 launch

Jet Airways will resume domestic operations in the first quarter of 2022, with an inaugural flight from Delhi to Mumbai. The Jalan-Kalrock consortium had previously said it was “working closely” with the relevant authorities and airport coordinators on slot allocation, required airport infrastructure, and night parking.

“Jet Airways 2.0 aims at restarting domestic operations by Q1-2022 and short haul international operations by Q3/Q4 of 2022," said Jalan.