BREAKING NEWS

No joy of flying: Jet Airways grounded indefinitely

On Wednesday night, Jet Airways (India) Ltd flew its last flight 9W 2502 from Amritsar to Mumbai — after lenders declined to hand out emergency funds, bringing the curtains down on an era in which it broke into a state monopoly sector to become India’s largest private airline at one point.
 
However, it’s unclear whether the airline will ever return to the skies, but if it does so, it will be under a new ownership structure. “Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian lenders, that they are unable to consider its request for critical interim funding,” Jet Airways said in a statement on Wednesday. 
 
“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.” The airline said it would await the bid finalization process by the lenders that is likely to bring in fresh equity by the end of May.
 
If the stake sale process to induct a new investor fails, it will mark the end of the airline that started operations on 5 May 1993, and then went on to become the first Indian airline outside government control to fly overseas destinations. 
 
The suspension of operations also marks the end of a year-long effort made by the airline and its lenders to save it from being grounded. The airline had already halted international flights. It operated about 40 flights using five aircraft on Tuesday and Wednesday.
 
“A decision like this is never easy to make, but without the interim funding, which we have been repeatedly requesting for, we are simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of our guests, employees, partners and service providers,” CEO Vinay Dube said in an email to Jet Airways employees, adding that the company was working to ensure the bid process leads to a viable solution.

Photo Gallery