Jet Airways Calls Off All International Flights
Jet Airways has suspended all international flights as the crisis at the Indian carrier deepens. Concerns over the future of the airline were heightened earlier this month when founder, Naresh Goyal, stepped aside, handing control of the operation to creditors.
Jet, the largest private airline in India, is saddled with more than $1 billion of debt and is seeking a financial lifeline to avoid collapse.
International flights scheduled to depart today from Delhi to Singapore, London, Amsterdam and Kathmandu have all been cancelled. The news comes after Jet grounded ten more planes earlier this week over unpaid fees to leasing firms.
There are reports the carrier is now operating just 14 planes. In response, the Indian government said steps were being taken to ensure passenger safety. Carriers in India must maintain a fleet of least 20 aircraft to continue to operate international services.
The airline has more than 100 aircraft in its fleet, and flies on 600 domestic and 380 international routes. Jet Airways owes money to employees and suppliers and in recent weeks it has grounded aircraft and cancelled thousands of flights as its financial strains worsened.
In March, when the crisis at Jet Airways led to thousands of flights getting cancelled, the Indian government stepped in and asked public sector banks to rescue the private carrier.
With India holding a national election, prime minister Narendra Modi was unwilling to see the carrier go bust with the potential loss of 23,000 jobs.
The lenders which took control of the airline promised to provide a lifeline until a new investor came on board. But despite that assurance, the situation appears to have continued to deteriorate.