India’s civil aviation regulator has asked Jet Airways to submit a “concrete and credible revival plan” to restart operations suspended by the debt-laden airline.
“DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) would endeavour to do its best to help the company revive its operations within the set regulatory framework,” the regulator said in a statement on Thursday.
The development comes a day after Jet Airways announced to temporarily suspend all flight operations from Wednesday after it failed to get an emergency funding of Rs 400 crore from its lenders.
“Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel and 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 airline said in its filing.
Late Wednesday evening, the Civil Aviation Ministry tweeted that: “DGCA and other regulators are monitoring the situation carefully to ensure that all existing rules regarding refunds, cancellations, and alternate bookings are followed strictly”.
“Our overriding priority remains the safety, convenience, and affordability of our aviation system. We are assisting airlines and airports to bring in capacity rapidly to ensure that fares remain stable and competitive,” the DGCA said in another tweet.
The Civil Aviation Secretary will convene a meeting with airports and airlines on Thursday to coordinate and address any emerging issues on capacity, slots and passenger convenience arising out of Jet suspending operations.
Hours after refusing to consider a request for critical interim funding for maintaining even bare minimum operations, the Jet Airways lenders led by the State Bank of India earlier on Thursday said they are “reasonably hopeful” that the stake sale process would succeed and determine a fair value of the enterprise.
“Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining the fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner.” a statement said.
The official statement said the lenders after due deliberations decided that the best way forward for the survival of Jet Airways was to get the binding bids from potential investors who have shown expression of interest (EOI) and have been issued bid documents on April 16.
The airline, that once operated around 120 aircraft, is now left with just 16 planes in its fleet. It owes over Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of lenders led by the state-run State Bank of India (SBI).
Till Monday, Jet was operating only 7 aircraft for domestic operations due to the grounding of over 80 per cent of its fleet by lessors owing to non-payment of dues.
Jet Airways pilots had on Monday appealed to the State Bank of India (SBI) to release Rs 1,500 crore for cash-strapped airline’s survival and also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help save 20,000 jobs at stake.
(With agency inputs)