1,100 Jet Airways pilots decide not to fly from April 15

Kenny Grant
April 17, 2019

Lenders have been prudent on giving temporary credit to the airline, given the vulnerable state of its operations.

In New Delhi, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola met PMO officials towards the evening to update them about the situation of the cash-strapped airline.

Employees from jet Airways have contacted PM Modi, and in a desperate attempt, have requested him to save 20,000 jobs. "They have approached them (banks) for interim funding and on Monday they will approach the banks again", Kharola said.

Once India's largest carrier, Jet Airways is now operating only seven of its 14 aircraft, and is flying only domestic routes, according to spokesman Gaurav Sahni.

The employees also demanded to know the future course of action to revive the debt-ridden airline.

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As per rules, an airline needs to have a minimum of 20 aircraft to be eligible to operate global flights.

The airline on Sunday said it has extended the cancellation of its west-bound flights - to and from Amsterdam, London and Paris - until April 16. Earlier, the Indian government was said to be looking into options to save jobs at Jet Airways, including by asking other airlines such as low-priced operator SpiceJet Ltd.to consider taking over some aircraft, according to people familiar with the matter.

Kharola said the company will meet bankers on Monday for an infusion of funds in the interim, the TV channel said. A strategic bidder should have a net worth of at least 10 billion rupees ($144 million) in the preceding financial year, or at least three years of experience in the airline business. However, some lessors have also withdrawn their de-registration requests.

Jet has been reeling under a severe liquidity crisis, which has compelled it to ground jets for which leases have gone unpaid. The SBI-led group of lenders had last month taken control of the airline and agreed to provide an immediate funding support of Rs 1,500 crore.

A consortium of United States firm and Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal's Jetair has reportedly submitted the expression of interest (EoI) for acquiring a stake in the ailing airline with the backing of a London company.

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