Regional air carrier TruJet has temporarily suspended its flight operations citing various technical and administrative reasons. The airline is a crucial player in the central government's UDAN regional connectivity.
"The operations are temporarily hampered because of various administrative and technical reasons, and rest be assured that TruJet will resume its operations at short notice," the airline said in a statement released to the media.
TruJet has been facing a financial crisis since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The airline was conducting discussions with investors for potential investment. According to a statement from TruJet, the carrier is closer to sealing a funding deal with a potential investor, who will bring $25 million into the airline. The statement further clarified that the new investor would introduce his panel of management and processes within the airline.
The investor seems to have appointed a financial veteran Yoga as Chief Financial Officer in TruJet, effective from February 14, 2022. The board is also hunting for a Chief Executive Officer for the airline venture. The CEO is expected to take charge from March 01, 2022, which implies the urgency of the appointment. Currently, Managing Director Umesh is undertaking the responsibilities as an acting CEO for the company.
TruJet Plans to Expand Pan-India
TruJet has a portfolio of seven aircraft conducting around 60 flights. The airline is slating for a network expansion across the country. The aircraft will increase its fleet size, probably six or seven aircraft by next year. The airline targets to achieve a milestone of 20 aircraft by 2025, ex-CEO of TruJet Col (Retd) LSN Murty revealed to CNBC in an interview in July 2021. The airline had submitted an application for pan-India expansion to the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the status of which is unknown at the moment.
TruJet's ex-CEO expressed the challenges of conducting flight operations for Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. According to him, the airline operates a single flight operation in a day, and to set up this station, the airline needs to invest lots of effort and money, among other things. Moreover, most UDAN routes are VFR (visual flight rules) airfields, and TruJet does not have night landing provisions.