14 March 2019: Jet Airways is currently flying a total of 61 planes, a drop of nine planes from the last tally provided to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), a senior government official told CNBC-TV18.
The airline has a total fleet of 119 planes, as per the latest data available on its website. Hence, 58 planes or 49 percent fleet of Jet Airways is out of operations.
Last week, a senior official in the aviation ministry had said that Jet Airways was operating a total of 70 planes.
This comes at a time when the airline is desperately seeking a way out of its financial crisis and increasing burden of outstanding dues.
Naresh Goyal, the airline’s founder, had also recently sent a distress call to Etihad Airways chief executive officer Tony Douglas, seeking interim funding support of Rs 750 crore this week for the survival of the airline, which he said “is in a precarious situation”.
“It must be reiterated that non-receipt of interim funding will be severely delirious to the future of the airline, leading to its grounding, which is something all of us, including the banks and other stakeholders, have worked assiduously to avoid over the last few months,” Goyal wrote to Douglas in a letter dated March 8.
Goyal had also said that the airline has over 50 planes on ground and increasing arrears of vendors and salaries to employees makes the need for interim funding all the more imperative.
“Aircraft lessors have been supportive of the company’s efforts in this regard. The company is also making all efforts to minimise disruption to its network due to the above and is proactively informing and re-accommodating its affected guests. The company also continues to provide required and periodic updates to the DGCA in this regard,” the Mumbai-based airline has said in an exchange filing.
Not only has the cash-strapped airline been able to pay its lessors for as long as 5-6 months, leading to grounding of planes, payment of salaries to pilots has also been pending since November.
The situation has been getting murkier for the airline as the rescue plan or the SBI-led debt restructuring programme for funding infusion is still not in place even after approval by the company board on February 21. While a board meeting of Etihad took place on Monday, the outcome is yet to know.