Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Jet Airways crisis deepens: Airline forced to ground two more aircraft, 25 out of service now

Jet Airways has been forced to ground two more aircraft due to non-payment of lease rental, the airline said in an exchange filing on Monday. With this, a total of 25 aircraft have been grounded in less than a month for unpaid dues, including the newly introduced Boeing 737 Max, Boeing 737 NG and Airbus A330 planes. The airline has been compelled to cancel nearly 200 domestic flights every day, approximately a third of the daily schedule of 600 flights.

The beleaguered airline, which is looking for an investor to bail it out, is negotiating with lessors, the management said.
According to a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official, cancellations by Mumbai-based Jet Airways have nearly doubled to 200 per day from 100-odd flights in December.

Jet did not respond to FE’s queries sent till the time of going to press. The full-service carrier had, on March 2, grounded two aircraft due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors.

The official said at least seven more aircraft, including ATR turboprop jets, have been taken off the fleet for lack of spares. “There has been no notice for de-registration (of aircraft) so far,” the official added.

Last week, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had said flight cancellations by Jet were very high.

“The DGCA is monitoring the grounding of aircraft and flight cancellation which is very high currently,” Kharola told reporters on the sidelines of CII’s Aviation Conclave on Wednesday.

After announcing the grounding of four of its planes on February 7 for non-payment to lessors, the airline took another two aircraft out of operations due to similar reasons on February 23. On February 27 and 28, Jet Airways grounded seven and six aircraft, respectively, due to the non-payment of lease rentals. Later, two aircraft were grounded on March 1 and as many on March 2.
05/03/19 Arun Nayal/Financial Express