Jet Airways to fly 40 more planes by end April; in talks with leasing companies to restart operation of grounded aircraft

Jet Airways will fly 40 more planes by the end of next month and is in talks with leasing companies to restart operating several of its grounded aircraft, said a Reuters report on Tuesday quoting the country’s top aviation official.

Lenders of Jet Airways moved in to take a majority stake in the airline, which is saddled with a debt of more than $1 billion, after it failed to convince potential investors to save the airline.

Jet Airways has had to ground more than two-thirds of its fleet as it struggles to pay lenders, suppliers, pilots and leasing companies. It won’t ground any more flights, Pradeep Singh Kharola, secretary at India’s civil aviation ministry, told a news conference in New Delhi, adding that an assessment showed most grounded Jet Airways aircraft are in “good condition.”

 Jet Airways to fly 40 more planes by end April; in talks with leasing companies to restart operation of grounded aircraft

Representational image. Reuters

He said the ministry would work towards ensuring that flying slots freed up due to the grounded Jet flights are equally distributed among other airlines.

On March 23, Jet Airways suspended operations on as many as 13 more international routes till end-April even as it grounded seven more planes due to non-payment of rentals, taking the number of such aircraft to 54, said a PTI report.

Besides, the airline has also reduced frequencies on seven other overseas routes, mostly from Delhi and Mumbai, according to airline sources.

Gasping for funds and no bailout on the horizon, the crisis-hit Jet Airways reduced its operations to one-fourth from over 600 daily flights earlier, with just one-third of its 119 fleet being operational.

On March 19, aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that 41 Jet Airways flights were currently available for operation and there may be "further attrition" of flights "in coming weeks" as it observed the situation as "dynamic".

As per the Jet Airways' website, it has a fleet of 119 aircraft in total. For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline's flight cancellations have increased gradually due to the rising number of grounded aircraft.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 26, 2019 20:17:10 IST

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