Jet Airways cancels long-haul international flights till Friday
Debt-ridden airlines Jet Airways has cancelled all west-bound long-haul international flights from Thursday night till Friday. This includes flights to London, Paris and Amsterdam.
At the same time, Jet also cancelled domestic flights between Mumbai and Kolkata and Kolkata and Guwahati for Friday due to operational reasons. The flight from Dehradun to Kolkata via Guwahati has also been cancelled for Friday. A Jet Airways spokesperson said that guests had been duly informed and that refunds are being processed.
The cancellation comes even as the beleaguered Jet Airways is on the verge of being barred from operating international flights as its operational fleet has come down to 14 and any Indian airline needs a minimum 20 aircraft to be able to fly on international routes. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is yet to take a call but said it is monitoring the situation closely.
Civil aviation ministry had said that it will review once the fleet goes below the required number.
The State Bank of India had on Monday offered up to a 75 per cent stake in Jet Airways for sale. It extended the deadline on Wednesday for interested bidders to submit a response until Friday. A consortium of SBI-led banks now effectively owns the beleaguered carrier.
“We will not allow violation of safety but since SBI is in the process of reviving the airline, the issue of not operating minimum fleet can be taken up later,” said a DGCA official.
Both Jet Airways and civil aviation ministry did not comment on the matter.
The consortium of 26 lenders has appointed SBI Capital Markets Limited to advise it on the sale. Jet’s fleet has come down to 14, with the airline grounding as many as 105 aircraft.
“@jetairways (9W) has suspended its services to and from Singapore until further notice. Passengers are advised to contact their booking agent or the airline directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) for available options,” Changi airport tweeted on Thursday.
This comes a day after as many as 200 passengers booked on a Jet Airways flight were stranded in Amsterdam after a service provider seized the debt-laden carrier’s aircraft that was supposed to fly them to Mumbai.
The Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) had also stopped fuel supply to Jet airways on Wednesday for a few hours due to non-payment of dues.
Burdened by a debt of around Rs 8,000 crore (and an additional Rs 1500 crore being infused), Jet Airways has cancelled several flights. The airline used to operate a fleet of 119 planes at its peak. The airline’s loss in the first nine months of 2018-19 stood at Rs 3,208 crore.