- Government said that it would investigate airline's ability to fly
- The carrier had announced temporary grounding of its overseas operations
- Jet Airways has more than $1.2 billion of bank debt
Jet Airways has cancelled its international operations till April 15, reported news agency Asian News International (ANI) quoting a spokesperson of the private airline on Friday. "The airline is working to minimise guest inconvenience using its round the clock contact centre, guest relations and the social media response teams, to handle schedule adjustments in line with defined regulatory guidelines, including offering re-accommodation choices or extending applicable refunds as the situation warrants," the spokesperson added.
The stake sale bid invited by a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India, which manages the day-to-operations of the airline, also closed on Friday, after being extended by two days. Airline founder Naresh Goyal, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, Air Canada and India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) among others are reported to have submitted bids.
Earlier in the day, Jet Airways' ground staff gathered at Mumbai airport over the non-payment of salaries. "We are not holding a protest, we just want to know about our salaries. We have not received our salary. We want clarity as to what is happening in the management," they said.
The government said that it would investigate Jet Airways' ability to fly. Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said in a tweet that his ministry would "review issues related to Jet Airways" and "take necessary steps" to minimise passenger inconvenience and ensure their safety.
On Thursday, the airline had announced temporary grounding of its international operations. The flights scheduled for London, Amsterdam and Paris from Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru were cancelled due to operational reasons. On Tuesday, a cargo agent had taken possession of an aircraft demanding bill payment. This led to the cancellation of the Amsterdam-Mumbai flight that day, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
On the domestic front, all of Jet Airways' operations to and from the eastern and north-eastern states were suspended till further notice. Following this, no Jet Airways flights will be operated on Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati routes and other airports in the region.
Jet Airways had also said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati-Kolkata flights stood cancelled till further notice due to "operational reasons".
The Mumbai-based airline with more than $1.2 billion of bank debt, is fighting for survival as it also owes money to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies.
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