April 13: Jet Airways, which is reeling under a severe financial crunch, was forced to halt all international flights for April 11 night and April 12 morning. It had operated just 14 aircraft during the day, which is now the smallest fleet when it comes to domestic carriers.
Earlier, the Aviation Ministry had made the statement that it will evaluate the Airline’s fitness to operate to international routes if it goes short in the minimum number of carriers required to fly abroad.
The debt-driven flyer is unable to raise funds to refuel wide-body planes and encounter other maintenance charges of foreign flights as it has not yet received the promised Rs 1,500-crore emergency funding from its lenders. As per the sources, if it does not receive the funds soon, the company will face a shutdown. On April 11, Jet Airways had informed the BSE that 10 more aircraft are being canceled.
It is being said that with the stake sale option open, even if the company receives an ideal bidder offering an ideal price, they will require around three to four months to reach closure. The company may not be able to survive that long without proper funds.
The7 wide-body (six Boeing 777 and one Airbus A330) and 7 Boeing 737s and turboprop ATRs formed the flyer’s 14 operational aircraft fleet on April 11. Those Indian carriers which have a minimum of 20 flights are allowed to provide international services. With 14 flights, Jet Airways became India’s smallest schedule airline flying only domestic routes till April 12 morning even before the authorities have reviewed it. The situation will change once they receive the promised fund.
A report said that banks, on their part, are learnt to be acting cautious about putting in public money in Jet. They are seeing if Jet has some serious player interested in it, then they will pump in funds to keep it alive during the transition period. Otherwise their exposure to Jet will only mount. Air India is already there with over Rs 50,000-crore loan, they are unwilling to take another big hit and that too not on a PSU but a private company.
Banks have not yet made any move and is playing safe. If the Jet receives a great funder, banks will provide funds to the carrier. As of now, Air India has a loan of around Rs 50,000-crore. Banks are playing cautiously as Jet is a private firm, it added.