Thursday, 25 April, 2019

'No joy of flying', as Jet Airways grounds operations temporarily from tonight

Jet Airways India's Jet Airways to suspend all operations after banks reject funding request
Priscilla Morrison | 17 April, 2019, 18:26

Mallya raised doubts over why so many airlines have "bitten the dust" in India. This was the second time in less than a week that Prabhu has publicly said he has called for a review of issues related to Jet Airways.

"This has been a very hard decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers", it added. Jet Airways said that it has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action. "This has been a very hard decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers", Jet said in the statement.

Mallya expressed his solidarity with Naresh Goyal, who has stepped down from the board of the airline and on Tuesday pulled out of bidding, deciding not to try to retake control of the airline that he ran until last month. "It will help them to save Jet Airways if nothing else", the liquor baron said.

In its response to the airline's request for immediate funds, the lenders said, "The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today".

TPG declined to comment, while the other three did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

He alleged that his debtors have refused to take him up on his offer. "It is likely that the lenders may release some funding tonight", said the source.

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Bad investments, competition from several low-priced carriers, high oil prices and a weak rupee have led to Jet's current financial predicament, analysts say. A consortium led by the State Bank of India is in active talks with several parties regarding a sale of up to 75% of Jet Airways' stake.

Passengers from within and outside the country who had booked tickets with Jet Airways faced inconvenience and were left stranded at various airports, as per media reports. He also reiterated his offer to repay all dues owed by his Kingfisher Airlines to banks in India.

India's aviation secretary told media late on Tuesday that Jet had only five aircraft flying on the day and that 90 percent of its slots stood vacant. He added that at least 10 more aircraft will be inducted by other airlines in a month. Once deregistered, lessors are free to reclaim a plane and lease it to another airline anywhere in the world.

Jet's pilots along with engineers and senior staff were last paid for December 2018.

Jet shares closed 8.1 per cent lower at 240.50 rupees.

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