April 23, 2019

India's Jet Airways suspends all operations

17 April 2019, 06:26 | Hattie Nash

CANCEL Flights stopped by Jet Airways

CANCEL Flights stopped by Jet Airways

Another source said Jet's board had authorised its chief executive Vinay Dube to go back to its main lender State Bank of India (SBI) one last time to plead for emergency funds. Significantly, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has called for a review of issues related to Jet Airways, including rise in airfares, today.

The 1992-founded carrier, which until recently, was India's second largest airline, is in deep financial problems and now failed to secure an emergency funding with its biggest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI). Jet Airways said that it has informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.

In a statement the airline said it had been forced to ground all its flights because "prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities did not yield the desired results".

Troubled Indian airline Jet Airways has temporarily suspended all its domestic and worldwide flights after failing to find fresh funding.

Mallya expressed his solidarity with Naresh Goyal, who has stepped down from the board of the airline and on Tuesday pulled out of bidding, deciding not to try to retake control of the airline that he ran until last month.

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Jet Airways said essential services needed to support guest services and the re-commencement of the flight operations will be kept onboard until further notice.

The airline informed BSE that in its response to the airline, the lenders have said, "The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today".

EXIM did not respond to a request for comment.

CNBC-TV18 said Jet's lenders were likely to invite binding bids from four shortlisted suitors.

A report by Economic Times said that SBI Capital Markets had the mandate for Jet Airways sale on behalf of the SBI-led consortium of the domestic lenders to the debt-ridden private carrier.

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"Lenders are committed to a revival plan for Jet Airways", Punjab National Bank's Managing Director Sunil Mehta said. He also reiterated his offer to repay all dues owed by his Kingfisher Airlines to banks in India. According to Kharola, the airline operated with five aircraft on Tuesday.

A year ago Jet had more than 120 planes operating, but the full-service airline has been hit by competition from low-priced carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet, along with high oil prices, fuel taxes and a weak rupee.

Once de-registered, lessors are free to take a plane out of the country and lease it to other airlines.

Jet's pilots along with engineers and senior staff were last paid for December 2018.

As of 1415 GMT on Tuesday, Jet listed on its website roughly three dozen flights that it plans to operate on Wednesday.

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