New Delhi (Sputnik): India's oldest privately owned carrier, Jet Airways, has suspended all of its flights from Wednesday night onwards after lenders refused to provide emergency funds to continue operations, an informed source told Sputnik. The airliner's last flight will take off at 22.30 local time from Chandigarh.
The flights were suspended after lenders refused to provide $5.74 million as sought by the carrier to help keep it afloat. The situation worsened after the government decided not to intervene as it was worried doing so could prove counter-productive during the elections.
All jet airways flight, domestic and international, cancelled with immediate effect. The last flight will operate today. pic.twitter.com/RKavcKioSw— ANI (@ANI) April 17, 2019
"Late last night, Jet Airways was informed by the State Bank of India (SBI), on behalf of the consortium of Indian Lenders, that they are unable to consider its request for critical interim funding. Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or 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 last flight will operate today," Jet Airways said in a statement.
The airline will now await the bid finalisation process by the SBI and the consortium of Indian lenders.
In a statement, lenders said, "The Expressions of Interest (EOI) have been received and bid documents have been issued to the eligible recipients today. The bid documents inter alia have solicited plans for a quick revival of the company. The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019… We are actively working to try and ensure that the bid process leads to a viable solution for the company."
The board of directors of Jet Airways earlier met on Tuesday to decide the next course of action. At that time, lenders were divided on whether to hand over the balance amount of interim funding of over $10 million without additional collateral. The operating fleet of the airline is now down to just five planes.
The beleaguered airline was founded around 25 years ago. At its peak, it boasted of over 120 planes providing hundreds of daily flights. The airline has a total debt of around $1.2 billion and has been teetering for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217 million from its lenders, as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.