Jet Airways cancels all worldwide flights

Andrew Cummings
April 12, 2019

Mumbai: With lessors grounding more Jet Airways (India) Ltd planes, the airline suspended all of its global flights till Friday morning, even as a government official said the airline's eligibility to fly overseas might be reviewed given that its fleet size had fallen below the required minimum.

This comes after the carrier on Thursday grounded 10 more planes over unpaid fees to leasing firms. Indian carriers with at least 20 planes in its fleet are allowed to fly overseas.

According to reports, Jet Airways also cancelled long-haul West-bound worldwide departures from Thursday night to Friday morning.

"All Jet Airways operations in the Eastern region are suspended". All global flights had been cancelled till Friday morning, said a Jet Airways spokeswoman.

"Jet Airways' flight 9W 615 Mumbai to Kolkata and 9W 675 from Kolkata to Guwahati on April 12 are cancelled due to operational reasons".

Indicating the plight of the airline, a senior executive from Indian Oil said the oil marketing firm has put Jet Airways on cash and carry basis.

Recent financial problems have forced the carrier to suspend a growing number of flights, including its Manchester-Mumbai service.

The airline has more than 100 aircraft in its fleet, and flies on 600 domestic and 380 worldwide routes.

Etihad Airways is the latest player to enter the race to acquire a stake in debt-laden Jet Airways, with the Abu Dhabi-based airline submitting the Expression of Interest (EOI) today, sources aware of the development told CNBC-TV18.

The airline did not respond to BBC requests for comment on the size of its current fleet or operations. The airline cited operational issues as the reason for the cancellations.

Meanwhile, PTI quoting aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said the ministry may review Jet's eligibility to continue its worldwide operations after it gets a report from the regulator. Many lessors have taken possession of planes after the airline failed to pay rents.Lenders, led by State Bank of India, took control of Jet Airways in March after its founder and chairman Naresh Goyal gave up control to resolve the crisis.

The group is searching a new investor to acquire a stake of up to 75% in Jet Airways. It extended the deadline on Wednesday for interested bidders to submit a response until Friday.

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