Jet Airways cancels worldwide flights as crisis deepens

A Jet Airways is India’s second-largest full-service airline. More

A number of flights scheduled to and from several regions in east and northeastern India which includes Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati, Dehradun-Guwahati via Kolkata were cancelled on Friday, April 12.

Jet Airways was founded in 1993 as India's first significant privately owned airline, competing with the poorly run state-owned Indian Airlines. However, when contacted, a spokesperson of the carrier said it does not comment on speculation. As per rules, an airline needs to have a minimum of 20 aircraft to be eligible to operate global flights.

These flights have been cancelled until further notice due to operational reasons.

In a statement to the Mumbai Stock Exchange late Thursday, Jet Airways said an "additional 10 aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors".

Mumbai: The crisis deepened at Jet Airways on Thursday even as the bid process to get new owners for the debt-ridden airline elicited good response from investors.

These developments have led sector regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to seek a report from Jet Airways's management. "This is not expected from a reputed airline like Jet", said Ahmedabad resident Mayur Thesiya.

Airport Coordination Ltd., which deals with airport slots, disclosed that Etihad was taking over slots allotted to Jet Airways at London's Heathrow Airport.

All of Jet´s long-haul flights were cancelled on Thursday, including to London, Paris and Amsterdam.

"After we get those details, we will decide on it", aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola told PTI when asked whether the ministry is planning to review Jet's eligibility to continue its global operations in view of the nearly negligible fleet.

On Thursday, the airline had cancelled all its west-bound worldwide flights from India until Friday evening.

Former Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal was forced to step down from his post last month, but is understood to be considering submitting a bid for the airline.

Jet Airways is now operating only 11 out of the 123 planes it had in operation before the financial crisis struck about six months ago.

On Wednesday, the bankers for the third time extended the timeline to submit the Expression of Interest (EoIs) to April 12 to give more players adequate time to participate.

Mismanagement has also plagued the airline with analysts tracing the start of Jet´s financial problems to its 2006 purchase of Air Sahara for $500 million in cash.

From a high of about 120 aircraft, Jet Airways, which has struggled with declining profits in the past few years, is down to fewer than 30 planes.