Jet Airways cancels ALL worldwide flights - chaos as furious passengers stranded

At its peak Jet Airways was operating nine services a day to and from Singapore three each from New Delhi and Mumbai two from Bangalore and one from Pune

Debt-ridden Jet Airways on Thursday cancelled all its west-bound global flights from India until Friday evening, reports said.

For the world's fastest growing aviation market that clocked consistent double-digit growth in domestic air passenger traffic on a monthly basis for the last four-and-a-half years, winding down of operations India's oldest private airline has hurt the growth as one in six aircraft have gone out of Indian skies over the past few months. Between yesterday and today, it cancelled flights to Singapore and Kathmandu. The total number of operational aircraft fell to 14 on Thursday, people in the know said. The airline's pilots' union said on 31 March that it will give the carrier's new management till 14 April to clear unpaid salaries and defer the plans of a strike until then.

The airline, which was recently taken over by lenders led by SBI, saw its founder and chairman Naresh Goyal step down and cede control of the airline. It was supposed to get Rs 1,500 crore in terms of interim loan funding and hasn't received it.

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Of these 117 planes, 105 were operated by Jet Airways and are now grounded due to non-payment of dues to lessors, while 12 belonging to SpiceJet are non-operational due to safety issues with the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. "Following this, there are no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region", a travel industry source told PTI.

"Similarly, 9W 676 from Dehradun to Kolkata via Guwahati has also been cancelled until further notice", Jet said in a statement, adding refunds are being processed.

Earlier, in the day the aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola told PTI that the ministry may review Jet's eligibility to continue its worldwide operations after it gets a report from the regulator DGCA on the issue. Indian carriers with at least 20 planes in its fleet are allowed to fly overseas.

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Of the 14 aircraft that it operated till Thursday evening, eight were wide-body B777s (seven) and an A330- generally used for long-haul global operations.

SBI Caps, which invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for stake sale in Jet Airways on April 8, has already extended the date for submission of bids to April 12 from April 10.

"Jet is operating only nine planes on Friday", a source said.

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State-run banks have taken a temporary stake in the airline to keep it running, with lenders laying out terms for potential bidders for the carrier.

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