Aviation regulator DGCA may bar beleaguered carrier Jet Airways from taking advance bookings beyond a particular period amid reduced capacity and massive flight cancellations, an official said on Thursday. The official also said the private airline has been flying only 61 of the 116 planes it has in the fleet, forcing it to cancel as much as 45 per cent of total flights per day.
Jet Airways operates over 600 flights within India and overseas. “We may ask Jet Airways not to accept forward bookings beyond a particular period,” a senior DGCA official told PTI.
The official also said a final decision on the issue would be taken after seeking a report from Jet Airways.
However, a DGCA spokesperson said there is no such proposal.
“We do not have any such proposal. We shall continue to share relevant information with you all,” the spokesperson said.
The full-service carrier has started discounted sale of tickets with all-inclusive fares starting from Rs 1,165 for flights to 37 domestic destinations and validity for one year, as per its website.
In addition, the airline is offering 10 per cent discount on flight bookings for four or more passengers travelling together. It has, however, not given any cut-off date for booking tickets under the offer.
“The tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of commencement of journey,” according to the website.
The regulator would be reviewing the flight schedule of the airline on Friday.
A senior official last month said the DGCA is reviewing the airline’s flights schedule every 15 days in order to ensure that there are no sudden flight disruptions due to grounding of aircraft.
In late 2014, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allowed SpiceJet to sell tickets only for travel within a month when the airline was facing financial problems.
Jet Airways has been looking at various ways to raise funds amid acute liquidity crunch that has forced it to ground aircraft, cancel flights in large numbers, shut down stations and delay salary payments to its pilots and engineers along with other senior staff.
On March 8, Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal wrote to Etihad Airways Group CEO Tony Douglas seeking an urgent funding of Rs 750 crore.
In the letter, Goyal also said, “Jet Airways is in a very precarious position, with more than 50 aircraft grounded and increasing arrears of vendors and salaries which makes the need for interim funding all the more imperative.”