Cash-starved Jet indefinitely suspends operations to Northeast markets

Darnell Taylor
April 12, 2019

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

Jet had over the last few months suspended operations to more than 15 short haul worldwide destinations in the Gulf, south east Asia and SAARC countries.

All Jet Airways' global flights scheduled to depart on Friday from Delhi - to Singapore, London, Amsterdam and two to Kathmandu - are cancelled, the airport website says. The airline cited operational issues as the reason for the cancellations.

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

It is also learnt that Jet founder Naresh Goyal may submit an EoI jointly with another partner.

The airline has grounded most of its fleet and has delayed payments to its pilots, suppliers and lessors for months. Just a few weeks ago, Etihad had made an offer to sell State Bank of India, Jet's largest creditor, its entire 24% stake in the airline.

When contacted, Jet Airways said that the airline was now focusing on accommodating its passengers on other flights and ensuring their inconvenience was reduced.

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"Jet Airways' flight 9W 615 Mumbai to Kolkata and 9W 675 from Kolkata to Guwahati on April 12 are cancelled due to operational reasons". Indian carriers with at least 20 planes in its fleet are allowed to fly overseas.

According to a second official, the ministry has sought a report from aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on the current fleet size of Jet Airways.

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.

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 bid deadline for the stake sale ends on Friday, April 12, and so far five players, including Etihad, have expressed interest.

"The board, which was earlier scheduled to discuss a host of issues including the name of a former SBI chairman AK Purwar as the interim chairman, among others, could discuss only issues related to operations", the source said.

It has put between 31 per cent and up to 75 per cent in the airline for investors.

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