Jet suspends all flights after banks refuse to release funds

The airline said the decision follows the lenders refusing to offer a lifeline.

Jet Airways on Wednesday announced temporary suspension of all its international and domestic flights, with the last flight operating between Amritsar and Mumbai.

In a filing before the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and a statement to the media, Jet Airways said it was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian lenders, that they were unable to consider its request for critical interim funding.

“Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights. The last flight will operate on Wednesday,” it said.

Kuldeep Sharma, vice- president, global compliance, and company secretary, in the filing to BSE, said the decision had been taken after a painstaking evaluation of all alternatives that were made available to the company and after receiving guidance and advice from its Board of Directors.

DGCA informed

Jet Airways said it had informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions of this course of action.

Over the last several weeks and months, the company has tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding,” the filing said.

It added that this has been a very difficult decision but without interim funding, the airline was simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers.

On Wednesday, Jet Airways operated just three aircraft, one Boeing 737 NG and two ATR turbo-props.

“After 25 years of sharing the Joy of Flying with Indian and international guests, Jet Airways has been forced to take this extreme measure as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities did not yield the desired results,” it said.

“Jet Airways will now await the bid finalisation process by SBI and the consortium of Indian lenders,” a spokesperson said.

The airline informed BSE that in its response to the airline, the lenders have said, “The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today. The bid documents inter aliahave solicited plans for a quick revival of the company.

“The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019 … We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company.”

A spokesperson informed that the airline will continue to support the bid process initiated by the lenders.

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