Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Jet Airways cancels all flights causing passenger chaos

Jet Airways cancels all flights causing passenger chaos

It seems Jet Airways' financial woes are far from over.

It operated 600 domestic and 380 global routes, including out of London, Amsterdam and Paris, and had grown rapidly before it started to lose market share after the entry of low-priced airlines like IndiGo & SpiceJet.

Its lenders, led by SBI, have been seeking expressions of interest for an up to 75 per cent stake in the airline. Tonight 9W-2502 (Amritsar-Bombay-Delhi) will be last flight of beleaguered airline before a temporary closure.

Earlier today, BusinessToday.In had reported that Jet Airways may suspend its operation temporarily after banks refused to infuse Rs 400 crore in the cash-strapped airline.

The airline said it has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other government institutions about its decision.

The airline said the decision follows the lenders refusing to offer a lifeline.

Since the 25 March resolution to infuse Rs 1,500 crore into the airline is yet to fructify, the once leading airline has been defaulting on payments, forcing its lessors to retake nearly all its planes and was operating just about six planes as of Tuesday.

"With immediate effect, we are compelled to cancel all our worldwide and domestic flights".

"Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going", Jet Airways said.

As of today, Jet Airways was operating less than 10 aircraft; down from 124 in December.

These include private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners, Indian sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), and the UAE's Etihad Airways, which already owns a minority stake in Jet, it said.

It was not immediately clear who else might bid for the company. "We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company". But, thus far, they have disbursed less than Rs 300 crore, that too in small amounts, citing procedural delays. "Interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, & as a result of this we have extended cancellation of global operations through Thursday, April 19".

India's Jet Airways Ltd will be forced to shut down as soon as Wednesday (April 17) if it does not get emergency funding from its lenders, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Monday, Jet Airways' pilots appealed to the SBI to release Rs 1,500 crore for the airline.

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