A day after Jet Airways consolidated its operation by cancelling international and domestic flights, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) called an urgent meeting to review the debt-laden airline's ability to keep flying as it grounded another ten flights.
News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that the meeting has been called after Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu asked the secretary of the department to review issues concerning Jet Airways.
"Directed Secretary @MoCA_GoI to review issues related to Jet Airways. Asked him to take necessary steps to minimise passenger inconvenience and ensure their safety", the minister tweeted early today.
Directed Aviation Secretary to review Jet Airways Issues- Suresh Prabhuhttps://t.co/ggZlXVy5PQ- Chowkidar Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) April 12, 2019
The cash-strapped Jet Airways on Thursday informed the stock exchanges that lessors had grounded 10 more of its planes, bringing its fleet strength down to 14 from 123 planes in operations at the peak.
With this development, Jet Airways was compelled to indefinitely suspend operations to the Eastern and Northeastern states, as well as curtail its international operations by a day, if not longer.
"Jet Airways flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled for April 12 are cancelled for operational reasons" the news agency quoted an airline source close to the development as saying this. The airline will not operate on the Bengaluru-Amsterdam-Bengaluru route on April 13 as well.
Jet Airways, which is currently controlled by the SBI-led consortium of lenders, has been on the verge of going belly up as most of its fleet are grounded due to payment issues.
Amid ongoing speculations over the future of Jet Airways, five entities have reportedly already submitted expressions of interest (EoI) in the ongoing bidding process for a stake sale in the airline and Etihad Airways has now joined the bandwagon. Reports also suggested that Jet Airways founder and former chairman Naresh Goyal may also submit initial bids for stake in the airline.
SBI Capital Markets, which is the advisor to the consortium of lenders to Jet Airways, had invited "expression of interest" on Monday, giving investors three days to respond. The lenders seek to recover dues worth over Rs 8,400 crore.
The crisis-hit Jet Airways has a lot riding on the outcome of the stake sale with its operational crisis continuing to spiral out of control.
(With PTI inputs)
Edited by Chitranjan Kumar