Cash strapped Jet Airways has cancelled all its worldwide flights and continues to cancel domestic more flights, raising doubts about its survival over the next few days.
Debt-laden Jet Airways has suspended its worldwide operations till Friday morning as its fleet has been reduced to 14 aircraft and the airline is facing a severe funds crunch.
Till recently, the airline operated 26 aircraft, including Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s, 737-800 and ATRs, to various destinations like London, Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, Paris, Bangkok and domestic sectors like Mumbai-Delhi, among others. The airline's board met in Mumbai on thursday and discussed "operational" issues.
As the deadline for bids to purchase a stake in Jet Airways has been extended till April 12th, the airline's creditors have reportedly received a bid Etihad, which is the struggling carrier's UAE-based partner.More news: Michael Avenatti Charged With… A Whole Bunch MORE Stuff
However, founder Naresh Goyal, who had also planned to participate in the bids and was expected to put in bids Thursday, did not do so till late evening, the sources said.
It owes various lenders 8,000 crore rupees (S$1.6 billion).
The carrier, once India's biggest by market capitalization, was forced to ground 10 more jets after it failed to pay lease rentals on time, Jet said in a stock exchange filing Thursday.
According to travel experts, India's air passenger growth over the last three to four years has been led by low oil prices that allowed the airlines to offer cheap fares - a phenomenon that continued even when fuel costs began to rise last year. Over 30 flights flying out of Bengaluru on April 12 and 13 have been cancelled. "Similarly, 9W 676 from Dehradun-Kolkata-Guwahati service has also been cancelled until further notice", Jet said in a statement, adding passenger refunds are being processed. This is below the minimum 20 planes required to operate worldwide flights, and a fraction of the 119 aircraft it flew before its first default on 31 December.More news: Scientists reveal first photo of black hole
Earlier in the day, Pradeep Singh Kharola said that Jet Airways is operating less than 15 plans and that its eligibility to fly on worldwide routes 'needs to be examined'.
Of the 14 aircraft that it is operating as of Thursday, eight are wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330- generally used for long-haul global operations. Note that a foreign carrier can neither hold over 49 per cent in a domestic airline, nor effectively control it.
According to reports, Jet Airways also cancelled long-haul West-bound global departures from Thursday night to Friday morning.More news: Geoffrey Rush Wins Case Against Sydney Newspaper Publisher