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PMO calls urgent meeting after Jet Airways extends suspension of international operations

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 12 April 2019, 10:20 PM
PMO calls urgent meeting after Jet Airways extends suspension of international operations
PMO calls urgent meeting after Jet Airways extends suspension of international operations

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday called an urgent meeting to discuss over Jet Airways which is facing its worst existential crisis in its over 25-year-old history. 

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola are likely meet officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to update the latter about the situation in the debt-ridden airline.

Meanwhile, PTI quoted a DGCA official saying that the crisis-hit airline is currently operating less than 50 domestic services, and has only 16 operational aircraft available with it. The government rules stipulate an airline must have at least 20 planes for operating international operations.

The move comes after Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier in the day tweeted that he has directed the Secretary for Civil Aviation to review the issues concerning Jet Airways and take required steps to minimise passenger inconvenience.

Earlier today, PTI quoted airline sources saying that the debt-ridden carrier extended the suspension of its international operations till Monday. 

Incidentally, the stake sale bid invited by the SBI- led consortium of bankers, which manages the day-to-day RPT day operations of the airline, also closes by the end of the day Friday, after being extended by two days.

Airline founder Naresh Goyal, the UAE carrier Etihad Airways, Air Canada and the country's national investment fund among others are reported to have submitted bids, according to media reports.

On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations for day-Jet was the largest international airline from the country till the financial crisis--when it had also suspended operations to the entire Eastern and Northeastern markets as Jet was forced to ground 10 more aircraft following default of lease rentals.

This has left Jet with no large aircraft while it had just 14 planes for domestic operations as of late Thursday.

Thursday Jet flights to London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru scheduled were cancelled for operational reasons," Je had said, adding it had also cancelled the Bengaluru-Amsterdam-Bengaluru flight Friday.

On the domestic front, all Jet operations to and from the Eastern and Northeastern states were suspended till further notice. Following this, there would no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region, travel industry source had told PTI.

Jet had also said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati-Kolkata flights stood cancelled till further notice due to "operational reasons."

As of Thursday, the airline had just 14 planes--way down from 123 planes in operations till a few months back.

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

The remaining six planes were, three B737s, which are largely used for flying on domestic routes besides on short- haul international destinations and the rest three are regional ATRs.

With just 14 aircraft left for operations, aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had told PTI that the ministry was awaiting a report from the DGCA to decide whether Jet can continue to fly on international routes.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Friday, April 12, 2019 06:32 PM
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