The Indian government has asked state-run banks to help cash-strapped privately-owned airline Jet Airways without pushing it into bankruptcy, a Reuters report has said. This comes after Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu held an emergency meeting on Tuesday on the grounding of flights by Jet Airways.
The Minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation tweeted: "Directed Secretary, MoCA, 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 (Directorate General of Civil Aviation)."
Earlier on Tuesday, Jet Airways’ pilots issued a statement threatening to stop flying from April 1 if there is no clarity on the resolution process and salary payment by March 31. The cash-strapped airline, which has been forced to ground over 40 aircraft of its fleet due to non-payment of dues to lessors, is regularly grounding aircraft as it is unable to pay the lessors.
The Jet Airways Aircraft Maintenance Engineers' Welfare Association (JAMEWA) had written to DGCA seeking the aviation regulator’s intervention in recovering dues.
DGCA on Tuesday stated that Jet Airways only has 41 aircraft in its fleet for operations and that there may be further attrition in the fleet size and flights ahead. The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) made the disclosure after meeting Jet Airways' representatives.
Industry sources said the airline had grounded over 50 per cent of its 123 aircraft. On Monday, Jet Airways informed BSE that four aircraft were grounded due to non-payment of money outstanding to lessors.
With IANS inputs