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Jet Airways crisis deepens: Only 41 aircraft in service, pilots threaten strike

Jet Airways crisis deepens: Only 41 aircraft in service, pilots threaten strike

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 19 Mar 2019, 03:01 pm

New Delhi, Mar 19 (IBNS): Cash-strapped Jet Airways is currently operating only 41 of its 119 in-service aircraft and the number may fall further in the coming weeks, the DGCA has said.

Adding to the airline's problems, its pilots, who haven't been receiving salaries for months, have threatened to stop flying from April 1 if they don't see a concrete rescue plan in place by March 31, reports said.

"It is not about the salary right now, it is about whether we are going to survive," a pilot told ET Now.

Civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday said he had sought a report on the situation from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

"Directed Secretary, @MoCA_GoI to hold an emergency meeting on grounding of flights by Jet Airways, Advance bookings, Cancellation, Refunds and Safety issues, if any. Asked him to get a report on Jet compliance issues immediately from DGCA. @jayantsinha," Prabhu tweeted.

The airline's maintenance engineers' association had reportedly written to the DGCA that "it has been arduous to meet financial requirements, which has adversely affected the psychological condition of Aircraft Engineers and therefore the safety of public transport airplanes being flown by Jet Airways across India and the world is at risk."

The DGCA said in a statement: "Current availability of aircraft in the fleet for operation is 41 and accordingly schedule for 603 domestic flights and 382 international flights per week has been drawn. However, it is a dynamic situation and there may be further attrition in coming weeks."

India's civil aviation watchdog is keeping a close watch on Jet Airways to ensure it follows rules on timely communication to passengers on cancellation, refunds and accommodating passengers on alternative flights where possible.

In Feb, Naresh Goyal and Etihad CEO had shared revival plan for Jet Airways

Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal and Etihad Airways CEO Tony Douglas, in a joint statement in February, had said the airline and its partners were making every effort to see the airline through its current financial crisis and so that it could "reclaim its rightful place as airline of first choice for its customers".

"In the last year the aviation industry has experienced extraordinary headwinds and challenges. Rising oil prices, a depreciating rupee and market saturation, among other things, have combined to critically impact the civil aviation sector as a whole," the statement said. "Some airlines have been hit harder than others; Jet Airways... being one of them."

Despite the problems, the airline did its best to serve passengers, the statement claimed.

"Jet Airways, its principal shareholders including Etihad Airways, and key financial stakeholders are working towards the finalisation and subsequent implementation of the Bank-led Provisional Resolution Plan (BLPRP), to ensure that the carrier emerges as a financially strong and resilient airline," it said.

"We are confident that once the BLPRP is finalized and implemented, Jet Airways will reemerge as a viable and robust airline to reclaim its rightful place as airline of first choice for its customers," it had added.