On the 1st of April 1992, Jet Airways was incorporated as an air taxi operator, starting commercial operations one year later, with a fleet of four Boeing 737-300 aircraft.
In early January 1995, Jet Airways was granted its scheduled airline status, after the Air Corporations Act was abolished. This came as a renewal of the Indian flight market, given the fact that, since 1953, Indian Airlines held the monopoly in the domestic segment.
In March 2004, Sri Lanka became the first international destination served by Jet Airways, once the Chennai – Colombo route was established.
An outstanding offer was made, in January 2006, by Jet Airways, its plan to buy Air Sahara for half a billion USD shortly becoming the biggest takeover in Indian aviation history. Although this deal could have made Jet Airways the largest Indian airline, by June 2006 it was abandoned.
Despite the fact that Jet Airways and Air Sahara were the only private airlines to survive the Indian business downturn of the early 1990s, Air Sahara was acquired by Jet Airways in April 2007 for 340 million USD, being renamed JetLite and branded as a low-cost, full service carrier.
In August 2008, Jet Airways announced its intentions to fully integrate JetLite into its services.
In October 2008, Jet Airways restructured its payroll and had to let go 1,900 employees – this becoming the largest lay-off in the history of Indian aviation. However, this decision was not permanent, since later on the aforementioned employees were called back to work. Despite their direct rivalry, during this time both Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines decided to cooperate, agreeing upon a code-sharing alliance on domestic and international routes, and joining forces to reduce expenses on the fuel consumption.
Jet Airways’ main low-cost brand was launched in May 2009, under the JetKonnect label. This step took forth a broader plan of action for the airline’s future, aiming to shift their JetLite network load – which experienced delays – to a similar operator code, so that the aircraft transfers between Jet Airways and JetLite would cease to happen. JetKonnect’s purpose was to cover segments with a 50% or less load factor, and will be kept on the market only until Jet Airways flight demand will increase.
During 2009, new Middle East destinations have been added.
After numerous complaints (regarding their baggage getting stained from meat products and other liquids) sustained by its passengers, Jet Airways decided to forbid the carriage of fish, crab, poultry and meat derivatives, as well as liquid articles, in the checked baggage. This new regulation came into effect starting June 2011, making Jet Airways the first Indian airline to impose this kind of restrictions.
In January 2012, Jet Airways started operating five ATR 72-600 aircraft on domestic and regional routes, and, in December, the airline took delivery of the first of four new Airbus A330-300 ordered direct from the manufacturer.
In April 2013, Jet Airways placed an order for 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as part of the modernisation of its fleet of 737s, with deliveries starting June 2018. The airline also announced that it was ready to sell a 24% stake in the airline to Etihad Airways, a deal that was completed in November.
In August 2014, Jet Airways announced that, by the end of the year, it would phase out Jet Konnect as part of plans to re-position itself as a uniform full-service operator. By December, Jet Konnect was fully merged with Jet Airways, which became the third full-service airline in India, besides Air India and Vistara.
In December 2015, Jet Airways announced the closure of its scissors hub at Brussels Airport. By March 2016, the airline started using Amsterdam Schiphol Airport as its new European hub.
In February 2016, Jet Airways became the second largest airline in India with a 21.2% passenger market share. It also announced the introduction of an in-flight entertainment service for streaming of entertainment content directly to Wi-Fi-enabled personal devices.
In March 2016, Jet Airways integrated and moved all its domestic and international operations at Mumbai airport, in the newly constructed Terminal 2.
In 2017, Jet Airways announced codeshare enhancements with Virgin Atlantic, enhancing India – US connectivity via London Heathrow, and with Delta Airlines, Air France, and KLM, expanding choice and connectivity options for passengers flying between India and Europe. Jet Airways also signed new codeshare agreements with Hong Kong Airlines, connecting India to Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and New Zealand over Hong Kong, Fiji Airways for convenient connectivity between India and Fiji via Singapore and Hong Kong, and Jetstar Asia for flights through Singapore.
No deadly incidents involving Jet Airways aircraft have been recorded so far.