The indigenous airlines Jet Airways today announced the suspension of all international flights, which were scheduled to take off tonight due to operational reasons. Even though the airlines did not ellaborate the reasons, the earlier reports had said that the operational situation at Jet Airways was under close scrutiny by the DGCA to ensure the airline's compliance with overseas flying rules.
According to the IANS sources, the airline is currently operating only about 14 aircraft down from 26 last week and this might lead to the suspension of its international operations. However, the airline did not comment on the development.
As per rules, an airline needs to have minimum 20 aircraft to be eligible to operate international flights.
Till recently, the airline operated 26 aircraft, including Airbus A330s, Boeing 777s, 737-800 and ATRs, to various destinations like London, Toronto, Singapore, Amsterdam, Paris, Bangkok and domestic sectors like Mumbai-Delhi, among others.
It apparently owns 16 out of these 26 aircraft.
Jet Airways is in the midst of a severe liquidity crisis that has affected its operations and resulted in the grounding of several of its aircraft.
The latest development comes a day after lenders of the debt-ridden airline tweaked the terms for stake sale and also extended the submission deadline for Expression of Interest bids from prospective buyers.
At present, the airline owes over Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of lenders led by the State Bank of India.
On last Tuesday, the airline was served a legal notice by a section of its pilots demanding payment of salaries -- which is due since January 1, 2019 -- by April 14.
Subsequently, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vinay Dube said that the company is working with the lenders on the balance sheet restructuring plan and will inform the employees about the progress of the process by early next week.
Besides employees, the airline's aircraft lessors too are upset with the current financial situation, with some of them requesting the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to de-register their aircraft leased to the company.
The de-registration request section on DGCA's website on Wednesday showed that lessors have applied to de-register 24 aircraft owing to unpaid dues.
(With inputs from IANS)