Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

India's Jet Airways suspends all operations

Read Jet Airways Statement On Temporary Suspension Of Flight Operations India's Jet Airways to suspend all operations after banks reject funding request
Ginger Lawrence | 17 April, 2019, 19:32

Even as lenders to Jet Airways shortlisted four potential nvestors, the management of the ailing airline made a fresh plea for immediate interim funding to keep the company operational till a new owner takes charge.

Jet Airways is set to temporarily halt operations from Wednesday night after its lenders rejected the cash-strapped airline's plea for emergency funds. On Wednesday, the Jet Airways website listed only 37 domestic flights and had an additional nine-page list of canceled flights, saying that the schedule was impacted by "operational reasons".

An analysis of the latest data disclosed by India's 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 carrier said it had tried its best to secure interim funding. "Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going... and has made a decision to go ahead with temporary suspension of operations", the airline added.

Also, in order to retain the wide-bodied aircraft, Jet Airways will need substantial funding soon.

In internal communication, Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said the lenders could not reach a consensus on the emergency funding and the board would meet again on Tuesday to further deliberate on the matter.

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This comes after the airline had already grounded most of its fleet and temporarily cancelled large amounts of flights, including all global services.

Its lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI), have been seeking expressions of interest for an up to 75 percent stake in the airline.

"Lenders are committed to a revival plan for Jet Airways", Punjab National Bank's Managing Director Sunil Mehta said.

The airline, which has a huge debt pile on its books, is in the midst of a stake sale process with bids being scrutinised for the final round. While the news are yet to be made official, Indian media already reports four companies have been shortlisted: Indigo Partners, National Infrastructure and Investment Fund (NIIF), TPG Capital, Indigo Partners, and Etihad Airways, which now holds 12% stake in the airline.

Earlier in the day, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had called for a review of issues related to Jet Airways.