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India’s Jet Airways flying just 7 planes amid investor talks

17 April 2019

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday stepped in to assess Jet Airways' financial situation as the cash-strapped airline suspended its worldwide operations till the weekend after further reduction in its fleet size.

The pilots and engineers have not been paid since January.

Once India's largest carrier, Jet Airways is now operating only seven of its 14 aircraft, and is flying only domestic routes, according to spokesman Gaurav Sahni.

The airline has also cancelled its long-haul, west-bound operations to and from Amsterdam, London and Paris till April 16, Jet Airways said on Sunday.

"The appeal is to the prime minister to save Jet Airways, to save 20,000-plus jobs which are at stake here, to pay our salaries", said Jet Airways captain Asim Valiani.

He said that now Jet Airways is operating only 11 planes and has suspended its worldwide operations till Monday afternoon.

Separately, the pilots, crew members and engineers may gather at the Jet Airways headquarters in Mumbai on April 14 morning, as a mark of protest.

Last week Thursday Jet Airways reportedly grounded another 10 planes due to unpaid leasing fees. The airline's staff was last paid for December 2018.

Kharola said Jet will meet bankers on Monday for an infusion of funds in the interim, the TV channel added.

State Bank of India, which heads a lenders' consortium now in charge of the airline, has given Jet until Monday to submit an operations plan before it considers a US$145 million (RM596.6 million) cash injection.

Close of play Friday was the deadline for prospective bidders to express an interest in acquiring a 75 percent stake in Jet, which has debts of some $1 billion.

The crisis at Jet has deepened in recent weeks as lessors have started applying to deregister planes, signalling the planned bailout had failed to assuage their concerns.

Naresh Goyal, who founded the airline but quit as chairman last month, has also lodged a bid, as have several private equity groups, newspapers said.

The pilots' union of Jet Airways on Sunday deferred the decision of "no pay no work" from Monday, citing the meeting of the SBI-led lenders' consortium with the airline's management on the same day.

India’s Jet Airways flying just 7 planes amid investor talks