India's Jet Airways suspending operations, no money to fly

Mae Love
April 17, 2019

It operated 600 domestic and 380 worldwide 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.

Fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya lashed out at the PM Narendra Modi-led BJP government on Wednesday for "discriminatory attitude" between state-owned and private airlines. Tonight 9W-2502 (Amritsar-Bombay-Delhi) will be last flight of beleaguered airline before a temporary closure.

Another source said Jet's board had authorised its chief executive Vinay Dube to go back to its main lender State Bank of India (SBI) one last time to plead for emergency funds.

Mumbai: With the lenders rejecting a lifeline of Rs 400 crore Wednesday Jet Airways, which has been on a wing and prayer since January, informed exchanges that it is forced to cancel all operations temporarily.

An analysis of the latest data disclosed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation shows that Jet's lessors have, so far, sought to deregister and repossess at least 48 planes operated by Jet.

"The decision has been taken after a painstaking evaluation of all alternatives that were made available to the company and after receiving guidance and advice on the same from its Board of Directors", the crisis-hit airline said. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its global and domestic flights.

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

The SBI-led consortium is looking for a buyer for Jet and a deadline passed on Friday for prospective bidders to express an interest in acquiring a 75% stake in the carrier. Because no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source of funding is forthcoming, it will not be possible for the Company to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going.

It was not immediately clear who else might bid for the company.

Passengers holding forward bookings with Jet Airways will need to talk to the travel firm that sold them the ticket or, if they booked direct with the airline, the credit card company. But, thus far, they have disbursed less than Rs 300 crore, that too in small amounts, citing procedural delays. The email said: "As you are aware, we have been working with the lenders to secure interim funding for our operations".

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

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