Jet Airways, on the verge of going belly-up, has suspended operations on as many as 13 more international routes till end-April even as it grounded seven more planes due to non-payment of rentals, taking the number of such aircraft to 54.
Besides, the airline has also reduced frequencies on seven other overseas routes, mostly from Delhi and Mumbai, according to airline sources.
“… an additional seven aircraft including two planes of JetLite, have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements,” the airline said in a filing to the stock exchanges late evening Friday.
The company said that as mentioned earlier, it is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and is regularly providing them with updates on the efforts taken to improve the liquidity.
Earlier, sources said routes, where services have been temporarily withdrawn, include Pune-Singapore (seven a week), which was launched with much fanfare late last December, and Pune-Abu Dhabi (seven flights a week).
Jet Airways has already suspended services on the Mumbai-Manchester route.
Gasping for funds and no bailout on the horizon, the Naresh Goyal-controlled airline has now reduced its operations to one-fourth from over 600 daily flights earlier, with just one-third of its 119-fleet being operational.
The airline has discontinued services from Delhi to Abu Dhabi (nine a week), Dammam (14 weekly), Dhaka (11), Hong Kong and Riyadh (seven each a week) up to April 30, said the airline source.
Besides, the airline has also suspended services on the Bangalore-Singapore route, where it flies twice daily, till April 30.
The flights which have been suspended from Mumbai for this period include services to Abu Dhabi (12 weekly), Bahrain (4-7 weekly), and Dammam (14 weekly). These services will remain suspended till April 30, as per the source.
Similarly, flights on the Mumbai-Hong Kong (7 weekly) route will also not be operated between March 23 and April 30, while the Kolkata-Dhaka services have also been suspended till April 30.
In addition to this, services from Delhi and Mumbai to Kathmandu, Bangkok, Doha, Kuwait and Singapore have been also reduced significantly.
Earlier, the pilots’ grouping of Jet Airways had said that the airline is on the “verge of collapse” and that they are facing a lot of financial hardships without any relief in sight.
Flagging concerns about non-payment of salaries, the National Aviators Guild (NAG) has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On Tuesday, the pilots’ body warned that they would stop flying from April 1 unless there is clarity on the resolution process and salary dues by end of this month.
The guild represents around 1,000 domestic pilots.
On Wednesday, NAG members held a meeting in the national capital wherein they endorsed Tuesday’s decision to stop flying from April 1. The meeting was attended by around 100 pilots, according to a pilot.
For the past few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as the airline’s flight cancellations have increased gradually due to the rising number of grounded aircraft. Grappling with financial woes, the carrier has been looking at ways to raise fresh funds.
(With agency inputs)