Aviation regulator DGCA may bar cash-strapped Jet Airways from flying international as the crisis-hit airline is operating with less than 15 aircraft. According to civil aviation policy, Indian carriers can fly international only after attaining a fleet of 20 aircraft.
"Currently, Jet Airways is operating less than 15 aircraft. The airline's eligibility to fly internationally needs to be examined," news agency PTI quoted Civil Aviation Secretary P S Kharola as saying.
Jet Airways on Tuesday said that an additional 15 aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements.
Till March, the debt-laden airline had taken 54 planes out of operations due to non-payment of dues to lessors. After grounding 15 more aircraft on Tuesday, the current fleet "would be less than about 15," Kharola was quoted as saying. The active aircraft fleet of Jet Airways was 28 yesterday, he added.
As per information available on Jet Airways website, the beleaguered airline had a total fleet of 119 planes.
The Mumbai-headquartered airline, in the exchange filing, said that it is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and regularly provides them with updates on the efforts undertaken by the company to improve its liquidity.
Last month, lenders to the struggling airline, led by State Bank of India, acquired a majority stake in the company and also announced a resolution plan to bring the airline out of its current mess. The lenders are trying to revive the airline by change in management as they feel collapse of the carrier would not be good for consumers as well as competition in the industry.
Weighed down by the development, shares of crisis-hit airline declined as much as 5.21 per cent to close at Rs 251.10 apiece on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The scrip touched an intra-day high and low of 260.80 and 248, respectively.
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar