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Jet Airways has suspended all operations after it has failed to secure new funding from either the State Bank of India or new investors.
Jet Airways has been in financial distress for over six months due to heavy financial losses and an over indebted balance sheet. Its operations had been subject to very signifiant disruption due to aircraft being grounded. The airline has long been technically insolvent.
The airline has issued a statement to confirm that all flights have been suspended.
Mumbai, Wednesday, 17th April, 2019: Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian Lenders, that they are unable to consider its request for critical interim funding.
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. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate today.
This decision has been taken after a painstaking evaluation of all alternatives that were made available to the Company and after receiving guidance and advice on the same from its Board of Directors. Jet Airways has informed the DGCA, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.
Over the last several weeks and months, the company has tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding. 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.
This has been a very difficult decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers.
After 25 years of sharing the Joy of Flying with Indian and international guests, Jet Airways has been forced to take this extreme measure as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities did not yield the desired results.
Essential services needed to support guest services and the re-commencement of the flight operations will be kept onboard until further notice.
In truth, Jet Airways should have suspended operations some time ago, let alone continue selling flights it had no reasonable prospect of ever operating.
Whilst the suspension of operations has been described as temporary and there is a possibility of new investors coming forward to enable a restart of operations, given the financial state of the airline, this seems unlikely.
Flights from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi have been cancelled since Friday 12 April 2019. Its three daily slot pairs have also been transferred back to Etihad Airways. In recent days, only a very small number of domestic flights have operated, as its operation had progressively wound down.
Jet Airways was founded in 1993 and was once India’s largest airline by market share. It began flying from London Heathrow in 2005 following a relaxation of a bilateral treaty which allowed more flights between the UK and India.
Civil Aviation Authority Response
Jet Airways is not regulated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
However, it may provide general guidance shortly on its website shortly. For passengers with existing bookings, the best advice is contact your credit company for a refund or to check your travel insurance policy to see whether it covers airline failure.
When an airline suspends operations it is standard practice for rival airlines to offer “rescue fares” to passengers who are stranded.
As far as UK airlines are concerned, British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi.
Virgin Atlantic flies from London Heathrow to New Delhi.
Both airlines may announce rescue fares shortly for passengers who are mid-way through their journeys.
If made available, they will only be available by contacting the airlines’ respective call centres. Guidance may be available shortly on the British Airways and Virgin Atlantic websites. If rescue fares are offered, in both cases, proof of an existing booking will be required either at the time of booking or check-in.