Jet flying less than 15 planes, govt examining eligibility to operate on international routes

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said on Wednesday that debt-laden Jet Airways is currently operating less than 15 planes and its eligibility to fly on international routes needs to be examined.
An airline needs to have a 20-aircraft fleet and 120 daily domestic flights to fly internationally.

Karola’s comments came a day after Jet Airways said 15 more aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements.

The company, where government-owned lenders have now taken control, said it is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and regularly provides them with updates on the efforts undertaken to improve its liquidity.

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The airline has over one billion dollars in debt. In addition, it has to repay money to banks, lessors of planes and suppliers besides clearing pending salaries to its pilots.

On March 25, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal and his wife Anita holding 51 percent of the equity resigned from the board and transferred control to the lenders. An interim management committee has been created to manage and monitor daily operations and cash flow.

The banks were to release an immediate debt funding of Rs 1,500 crore for Jet to tide over the current crisis.

However, reports say the funds have not been released yet due to technical reasons.

The 25-year-old airline has been surviving while facing bruising competition from low-cost airlines and fluctuating crude prices.


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