Jet Airways on its final descent? Grounds Northeast ops; suspends worldwide services

Irving Hamilton
April 12, 2019

Unless the fund is infused quickly - the entire sum and not in a trickle - it is endgame for the airline as it can shut down completely in a matter of days, Jet sources say.

The Jet Airways pilots' union on Thursday reiterated that the collective decision to go on a strike from April 15, if pending dues are not paid, stands.

Speculation is rife that Goyal is also likely to join hands with a foreign carrier to submit initial bids for a stake in the airline he founded.

Debt-ridden Jet Airways on Thursday cancelled all its west-bound worldwide flights from India until Friday evening, reports said.

The airline will not operate on the Bengaluru- Amsterdam-Bengaluru route on April 13 as well, the report said.

The airline has reduced its fleet to just 14 planes as of Thursday noon, way down from 123 planes in operations at the peak.

The carrier, once India's biggest by market capitalization, was forced to ground 10 more jets after it failed to pay lease rentals on time, Jet said in a stock exchange filing Thursday. "Following this, there are no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region", said a travel industry source. Between yesterday and today, it cancelled flights to Singapore and Kathmandu.

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In a separate statement, Jet said a flight from Mumbai to Kolkata, from Kolkata to Guwahati and from Dehradun to Kolkata via Guwahati have been cancelled. This forces the Indian airline to suspend all global flights and significantly reduce domestic operations.

Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday directed civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola to review issues concerning Jet Airways, which has been operating with less than 10 planes.

Of the 14 aircraft that it operated till Thursday evening, eight were wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330- generally used for long-haul worldwide operations.

NAG cited media reports to point out that an announcement was made by the State Bank of India (SBI) that an interim funding of ₹1,500 crore will be made to keep Jet Airways operational.

"Etihad Airways has also submitted bids for more stake purchase ahead of the 12 April deadline".

The lenders are offering a minimum of 32.1 percent and a maximum of 75 percent equity in the carrier to any investor either individually or in consortium.

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