Published: Fri, April 12, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Jet Airways cancels west-bound global flights, east-bound domestic flights

Jet Airways cancels west-bound global flights, east-bound domestic flights

According to airline sources, Jet Airways will operate only nine planes - two Boeing 737s and seven regional Jet ATRs - on Friday.

"All Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern regions are suspended".

Now, with promoter Naresh Goyal stepping down as Chairman of the airline, Etihad Airways is once again said to have considered its position in the airline and may look to stay invested by submitting a bid. Between yesterday and today, it cancelled flights to Singapore and Kathmandu.

It owes various lenders 8,000 crore rupees (S$1.6 billion).

Earlier on Thursday, the airline told the exchanges that it had grounded 10 more aircraft.

Almost 30 Jet flights from Mumbai to Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai on April 12 and 13 and 23 flights from Delhi have also been cancelled.

According to travel experts, India's air passenger growth over the last three to four years has been led by low oil prices that allowed the airlines to offer cheap fares - a phenomenon that continued even when fuel costs began to rise last year.

Several local media reported the airline is now operating 14 planes.

The airline said its Mumbai-Calcutta, Calcutta-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati flights via Calcutta stand cancelled for Friday.

"Similarly, 9W 676 from Dehradun to Kolkata via Guwahati has also been cancelled until further notice", Jet said in a statement, adding refunds are being processed. Indian government rules mandate a minimum of 20 operating planes for the airline to fly on worldwide routes.

With just 14 aircraft left for operations, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola told PTI that the ministry was awaiting a report from the DGCA to decide whether Jet can continue to fly on global routes. Officials, however, told the news agency that the firm had only 14 aircraft in operation on Thursday evening.

The meeting remained inconclusive, as "there did not seem to be any urgency on additional funding on the part of the bankers", the source said.

The Economic Times reports that "As many as five companies are said to have submitted expressions of interest (Eo-Is) in picking up stakes in Jet Airways".

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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