Jet Airways to fly 6-7 aircraft this weekend domestically; int’l operations suspended till Monday
New Delhi, April 12 (PTI): Cash-strapped Jet Airways will fly six to seven aircraft on both days this weekend on domestic routes, Aviation Secretary P S Kharola said on Friday.
However, international operations have been suspended till next Monday due to severe liquidity issues.
On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations for day-Jet was the largest international airline from the country till the financial crisis–when it had also suspended operations to the entire Eastern and north-eastern markets as Jet was forced to ground 10 more aircraft following default of lease rentals.
This has left Jet with no large aircraft while it had just 14 planes for domestic operations as of late Thursday.
“Jet has decided to extend suspension of its international operations till Monday, due to severe cash crunch,” airline sources told PTI Friday.
Kharola said the airline has been told to ensure that passenger issues are taken into consideration while it deals with the situation.
It has also been told to alert passengers about flight cancellations 48 hours in advance, Kharola said.
“Jet had a meeting with bankers. It has put forth demand of funds. It is currently flying 11 aircraft and will fly six to seven aircraft domestically on both days this weekend. We have asked it to take into consideration issues of passengers,” the aviation secretary said.
Currently, Jet Airways is operating less than 50 domestic flights per day. The official said the airline has suspended its international operations till Monday.
As the crisis in the private airline deepened, the Prime Minister’s Office called an urgent meeting to discuss the situation, an official source said.
According to sources, the meeting has been called after Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu asked the secretary of the department to review issues concerning Jet Airways.
Airfares have been on an upswing across India for the last few weeks due to sharp decline in number of flights primarily caused by grounding of around 90 per cent of the 119-aircraft fleet of the cash-strapped Jet Airways.
Amid this, SpiceJet on Friday announced it will induct 16 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft on dry lease to bring down flight cancellations and expand the airline’s international and domestic presence.
The availability of flights was also hit by pulling out of SpiceJet’s 12 “737 Max” aircraft in March over safety concerns following an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash on March 10.
“SpiceJet will induct 16 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft on dry lease and has applied to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for a no objection certificate (NOC) to import the aircraft,” the airline said.
“Subject to regulatory approvals, the aircraft would begin joining SpiceJet fleet in the next 10 days,” it added.