Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cash-strapped Jet will fly fewer domestic flights this winter

New Delhi: Financially struggling Jet Airways, which has been grounding planes due to a cash crunch, will see a dip in number of domestic flights this winter. And Air India - which is not inducting more planes unlike others - will see only a marginal increase.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has approved this year's winter schedule - that is in effect from last Sunday of October to last Saturday of March - of domestic flights. There will be a substantial increase in domestic flights, thanks to other airlines expect the two troubled full service carriers.

"Under the approved coming winter schedule, 23,117 domestic flights per week have been approved. There is a net increase of 22% over the last winter schedule. AI will have 1.2% more weekly domestic departures this winter over previous one. Jet, on the other hand, will have a 1.2% decline in departures," said a senior DGCA official. The regulator did not share the airline-wise break-up of winter schedule that shows change in domestic departures of individual airlines.

In fact, the regulator cleared the schedule for AI and Jet only after posing some tough questions to both these struggling airlines. "Every airline files its schedule requirement based on the fleet size they expect to have that season. We did lot of due diligence in the case of AI and Jet. Both these airlines were asked if they would have the number of planes based on which they filed for domestic flights this winter," said a senior DGCA official. Jet has been grounding planes due to a severe cash crunch and AI faces an uncertain future. Both these FSCs are struggling to pay lease rental for aircraft. Jet, the single largest airline in terms of flying people in and out of India, has seen its growth slow in this field too.
18/10/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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