Jet Airways crisis: International operations to remain grounded till 18 April as airline fails to receive funds from lenders
In an internal communication, chief executive Vinay Dube also said Jet Airways' board will meet Tuesday to discuss the next step for the carrier
This is the third time that airline has extended the suspension of these flights, which was first announced for last Thursday
The airline has only seven planes in the fleet with six of them regional jets ATRs and one B737 now
Jet, which also owes vast sums to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies, has been losing planes in recent weeks
Mumbai: Jet Airways Monday said its services on overseas routes will remain grounded until 18 April, even as the lenders failed to take a call on extending an emergency funding to the airline.
In internal communication, chief executive Vinay Dube also said the airline's board will meet Tuesday to discuss the next step for the carrier.
This is the third time that airline has extended the suspension of these flights, which was first announced for last Thursday.
"We have extended cancellation of international operations through Thursday, 19 April," Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube said in a communication. But it later clarified that the extension was to run through 18 April.
Dube said the decision was taken following the non-receipt of funds from its lenders, who have now management control of the airline following a debt-restructuring plan last month.
"We have been working with the lenders to secure interim funding for our operations. The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far," he added.
He also said the current status of engagement with the lenders and other related matters will be placed before the board Tuesday morning to seek guidance on the next steps.
Its long-haul overseas operations are carried out by wide-body Boeing B777s and Airbus A330s while it deploys smaller B737s into the Middle East, Saarc and Southeast Asia markets.
The airline has only seven planes in the fleet with six of them regional jets ATRs and one B737 now. Rest of the planes in its fleet of 123, is on the ground due to non-payment of rentals to the lessors and lack of cash to purchase jet fuel.
Jet, which also owes vast sums to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies, has been losing planes in recent weeks as lessors scramble to de-register and take back their aircraft, even as Jet’s lenders have sought expressions of interest in the carrier from potential investors.
Lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), want a new investor to buy a stake of up to 75 percent in Jet and initial expressions of interest were submitted last week.
Expression of interest
According to media reports, as many as six parties have submitted expressions of interest, though it is still far from clear if an acceptable bid will materialize.
“SBI is acting on behalf of the group of lenders,” the bank said. “Necessary support to facilitate the process is being extended by the banks in the consortium.”
India’s civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, said on Monday that lessors had applied to de-register a dozen more aircraft being operated by Jet Airways.
Once a plane is de-registered, lessors are free to take it out of the country and lease it to other airlines. More than two dozen Jet-operated planes have been deregistered this month and the airline had already been forced to the ground over two-thirds of its fleet by lessors due to unpaid dues.
On Friday, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had said Jet had the money to operate only six or seven planes over the weekend and that lenders would have to decide how many planes it could fly through this week.
With agency inputs
Scheduled international flights to and from India were suspended in March 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic had a massive impact on the aviation sector in the country in 2020 and major airlines faced major losses
Scheduled international flights have remained suspended in India since 23 March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic