Jet Airways will reportedly stop providing security services to foreign airlines after May 10. The aviation security regulator had extended Jet's operating permit for offering security functions till May 30. This development is expected to affect 38 foreign carriers operating flights to India.
The decision from the embattled airline comes close on the heels of a letter from regulator Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) asking foreign airlines to make alternative arrangements for security functions, Business Standard reported.
"After suspension of operations, approval for one month of transition time with effect from April 30 is granted to Jet by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) headquarters to carry out security services functions for foreign carriers. However, the service provider (Jet) may pull out at any time, keeping in view their current state of affairs. You are requested to make alternative arrangements as early as possible for security functions and uninterrupted operations," the regulator wrote in a letter to foreign airlines last week, as seen by the daily.
Security functions include pre-departure checks, baggage X-rays at non-metro airports, frisking of staff and even passengers in times of emergency. These services are provided by domestic carriers to foreign airlines flying to India.
Despite holding BCAS' operating permit, Jet Airways has decided to stop security functions to foreign airlines due to employees leaving the company after it suspended operations, the Business Standard report said. Some of the employees have not reported to work and morale of the remaining staff might be low due to non-payment of salaries, the daily further added.
Jet Airways grounded operations on April 17 after banks refused to lend the funds required to keep the carrier afloat. The airline has not been able to pay its vendors and service providers, who are now threatening to take the company to insolvency if their dues are not cleared. Around two dozen firms have already sent notices to the company. Closing security functions cuts off another revenue stream for the debt laden airline.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has deregulated 56 aircraft of Jet's fleet and handed over some of its slots at key airports to its competitors. The SBI-led consortium of lenders which extended loans to Jet is presently in control of the board and is planning a stake sale to recover Rs 8,400 crore.