Jet Airways suspends all flight operations

Jet Airways

Jet Airways

Passengers who booked Jet Airways flights are unlikely to get refund for their tickets soon though the airline announced cancellation of its domestic and global flights from Wednesday.

Since April 11 Jet Airways has stopped operating its sole worldwide flight from Bengaluru-the daily 9W235 flight to Amsterdam.

Fugitive businessman and owner of the now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines Vijay Mallya on Wednesday attacked the Modi government for allegedly discriminating between state-owned and private airlines while extending his sympathies to Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal and his wife Neeta.

The airline, saddled with roughly $1.2 billion of bank debt, has been teetering for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217 million from its lenders, as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.

Without the funding, the airline would not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep operations going.

The company said it has been informed by its lenders, led by state-run State Bank of India, that they are unable to consider its request for funding to keep flying.

With deep sadness and a heavy heart we would like to share that, effective immediately, we will be suspending all our domestic and worldwide flight operations. 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, the statement said.

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Jet Airways aircraft at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The airline added that it had "tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding" over the last few weeks. Banks had rejected a request for emergency funding made by the company to temporarily keep itself afloat forcing the company to first cut down daily operations and eventually suspending flights. The airline, once India's leading private carrier, has been forced in recent months to cancel hundreds of flights to dozens of domestic and overseas destinations.

"The global flight to India normally operates on full capacity and Jet's withdrawal would have little impact", he said.

"However, we must also be realistic that the sale process will take some time and will throw up several more challenges for us, many of which we don't have the answers as of today", chief executive Vinay Dube said in a communication to the employees.

"Lenders are committed to a revival plan for Jet Airways", Punjab National Bank's Managing Director Sunil Mehta said.

India's aviation regulator said on its website on Wednesday that lessors had applied to de-register another four Boeing Co 737 planes.

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