Jettwings, new regional airline for Northeast states, plans takeoff in Oct

Jettwings, new regional airline for Northeast states, plans takeoff in Oct

June 15, 2023

Sanjive Narain, owner of Assam’s oldest news channel, and Sanjay Aditya Singh, promoter of a cabin crew training academy, are coming together to launch a regional airline providing business and premium economy services in the Northeast.

Jettwings Airways will be based in Guwahati and will connect places with twin-class Embraer E175 aircraft.

The airline has secured an initial no-objection clearance from the civil aviation ministry and plans to launch services in October.

Once approved for flight operations, Jettwings will be the first-ever company from the Northeast region to start airline operations in the country.

“We have earmarked a Rs 100-crore investment in the airline.

“We plan to start with two planes in October and will have four planes in the initial phase.

“We will have comfortable seats, better legroom, and offer dynamic fares,” said Narain on Wednesday.

Narain owns Prag News channel and has business interests in construction, health, automobile, and mobile phones. Singh, his partner and the new airline’s chief executive officer, runs an academy offering aviation, hospitality and tourism management courses.

Guwahati airport handles around 128 flights daily to 20 destinations, including 13 cities in the Northeast.

With more than 10 daily departures, Guwahati’s busiest air route is to Delhi.

The airport handled 5.1 million passengers in FY23, up 41 per cent year-on-year.

“We strongly believe and commit to becoming a reliable and sustainable airline with its roots deeply entrenched in Northeast India, connecting unique yet important destinations,” said Singh.

Globally, Embraer has delivered over 700 E175 planes. SkyWest Airlines of the US is the largest operator of this aircraft type in the world.

In Asia, Japan Airlines and Fuji Dream Airlines fly them.

In India, the first E175 jet with 12 business class and 64 economy seats was inducted by regional airline StarAir in May.

The airline has two E175s at present and flies them on the Bengaluru-Hyderabad and Jamnagar routes.

Two more planes are expected to be delivered this year.

The E175 aircraft has a longer range than turboprops such as ATR-72 and flies fewer passengers than narrowbody planes such as Airbus A320 or Boeing 737s.

Thus this helps airlines on long routes with thin demand or tap newer markets such as those in the North East states.

According to the civil aviation ministry, sixteen airports and 64 routes in North East have been made operational under the government’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (Udan)- regional connectivity scheme.

Hollongi airport in Arunachal Pradesh was added to the aviation map last November.

As per the ministry datay aircraft movements in North East increased from 852 per week in the year 2014 to 1817 per week in 2022.

According to aviation industry experts, getting all approvals and manpower for October launch could be a challenge for the new airline.

Weather and restricted hours of operations at some of the northeast airports will be another challenge, they added.

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