New Delhi: The cash-strapped Jet Airways suspended operations for at least 13 international routes till April 30. At least 54 planes have been grounded as of now due to the non-payment of rentals. The airline has also suspended services on the Bangalore-Singapore route, where it flies twice daily, till the end of April.
With the suspension of services, the Bengaluru-Amsterdam remains the only international direct service being offered by the airlines from Kempegowda International Airport. Besides, Jet Airways has also reduced frequencies on seven other overseas routes, mostly from Delhi and Mumbai, as per sources.
The airline said in a filing to the stock exchanges on Friday evening, “An additional seven aircraft including two planes of JetLite, has been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements.”
The other routes, where services have been temporarily withdrawn, include Pune-Singapore which was launched late last December, Pune-Abu Dhabi, Mumbai-Manchester route among several others. An airline source informed that the airline has discontinued services from Delhi to Abu Dhabi, Dammam, Dhaka, Hong Kong and Riyadh up to April 30.
Flights which have been suspended from Mumbai include services to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dammam, and Hong Kong. The Kolkata-Dhaka services have also been suspended till April 30. Services from Delhi and Mumbai to Kathmandu, Bangkok, Doha, Kuwait and Singapore have been also reduced significantly.
On Friday, pilots of Jet Airways urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to instruct the management to release their pending salaries. Following the airlines’ employees request, the National Aviators Guild (NAG), the registered trade union of Jet Airways’ Indian pilots said, “We fear that the airline is on the verge of collapse. This will leave thousands of people unemployed. It will change the dynamics of aviation as fares will increase due to a reduction in capacity, and travelling public will face major inconvenience.”
Sources suggested that lenders led by the State Bank of India (SBI) may soon pull out cash-strapped Jet Airways from its down spiralling fortunes before the end of this month.