Jet Airways cancels all flights as banks decline emergency funding

Jet Airways

Ending speculation over the next course of action, the crumbling Jet Airways finally announced that it will temporarily suspend operations from Wednesday night.

The consortium of lenders, led by State Bank of India, invited expression of Interest for stake sale in the company to recover dues.

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).

"Unfortunately, despite its very best efforts, the airline has been left with no other choice today but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations".

An analysis of the latest data disclosed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation shows that Jet's lessors have, so far, sought to deregister and repossess at least 48 planes operated by Jet.

Referring to his offer to repay 100 per cent of his loans to Indian banks and government, Mallya said, "I invested hugely into Kingfisher which rapidly grew to become India's largest and most awarded airline. The last flight will operate today", the airline said in a statement. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its worldwide and domestic flights.

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These include private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners, Indian sovereign wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), and the UAE's Etihad Airways, which already owns a minority stake in Jet, it said.

"Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going", Jet Airways said. The bid documents inter alia has solicited plans for a quick revival of the company.

The 25-year-old airline has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,000 crore. The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019 ...

An official announcement of grounding of operations is expected anytime now as the Jet Airways board had Tuesday authorised chief executive Vinay Dube to make one last appeal to the SBI-led consortium to get a life-line of Rs 400 crore Wednesday, before taking a final call on the future.

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority tweeted advice to customers, outlining different approaches for seeking refunds depending on how the flight was booked.

"Even though we were fierce competitors, my sympathies go out to Naresh and Neeta Goyal who built Jet Airways that India should be extremely proud of".

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