Jet Airways grounds seven more aircraft cancels additional flights

Jet Airways on Saturday grounded seven more aircraft and cancelled additional flights on its network. The airline, running a truncated schedule, suspended or reduced flights to at least 13 of its international stations while closing certain domestic sectors for operations.

In a stock exchange filing on Saturday, Jet said it grounded an additional seven aircraft taking the total number to 54 out of its 119-strong fleet. On March 19, in a meeting with the Indian civil aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the airline submitted a curtailed schedule operating with 41 aircraft and 603 domestic and 382 international flights.

There might be further changes to this schedule and more flights can be pulled out. It is a dynamic situation and there may be further attrition in the coming weeks, the DGCA had said in a statement after meeting Jet officials on March 19.

According to information, the airline has made service reductions to certain international routes like Bangkok, Kathmandu, Singapore and some Middle East destinations like Doha and Kuwait. It will now operate just eight flights to these destinations instead of 20 daily flights.

Jet has suspended 90 weekly operations to international destinations like Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Hong Kong, Dhaka, Riyadh from its Indian bases of Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata. It has informed travel trade operators that bookings for certain flights on its network will not be available from May 1. Massive capacity reduction by Jet, almost a million seats over the past couple of months, has pushed fares up by as much as 25 per cent during the peak travel season.

The lenders, led by SBI, are currently working on debt resolution and a recapitalisation plan for the airline, but have not been able to rope in an investor yet. Jet’s foreign joint venture partner Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad has not committed to an investment in Jet, which was the plan the lenders were working on. That has also impacted the Rs 750 crore of interim funding to keep Jet afloat, resulting in the grounding of aircraft and flight cancellations.

Reports suggest a plan to get in a new management, seeking promoter Naresh Goyal’s exit.

Source: Civil Aviation Authority