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Debt-Hit Jet Currently Flying 15 Aircraft On Domestic Routes, Says Government: 10 Points

The debt-laden airline, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, was last month bailed out by state-run banks.

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Debt-Hit Jet Currently Flying 15 Aircraft On Domestic Routes, Says Government: 10 Points

Jet Airways' lenders group has on a temporary basis taken a majority stake in the airline

Less than 15 aircraft of Jet Airways are currently operational, a government official said on Wednesday. Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said Jet Airways' current fleet is 28 planes, including 15 aircraft in domestic operations. The statement from the government official comes a day after the airline said it had grounded an additional 15 aircraft as it failed to pay dues to lessors. Calling certain media reports on its ability to operate to international routes "speculative", Jet Airways said it is "operating a curtailed schedule with sufficient number of aircraft".
Here are 10 things to know:
  1. Commenting on the funding issues of the airline, Mr Kharola said, "The issue is between bankers and Jet management. So they are discussing with each other."
  2. In its statement on Wednesday, Jet Airways said: “As informed to the regulator (DGCA), the airline is operating a curtailed schedule with sufficient number of aircraft, and is compliant with applicable guidelines.” 
  3. Jet Airways has delayed payments to pilots, suppliers and lessors for months and defaulted on loans after racking up more than $1 billion in debt. Under the current scheme of bailout, the group of lenders led by State Bank of India has temporarily taken a majority stake in the company and given it a new loan of Rs 1,500 crore. 
  4. Jet Airways' pilots have been threatening to stop flying if their dues are not cleared. On Sunday, the pilots' union of the carrier deferred a planned strike from April 1, giving the company's new management two weeks to clear their unpaid salaries. The National Aviators Guild, the union of Jet pilots, had planned to go on strike from April 1 because of non-payment of salaries.
  5. Aviation regulator DGCA or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has approved the summer schedule of Jet Airways flights from March 31 to April 25 only. This assumes significance as the summer schedules of domestic airlines such as Vistara, IndiGo and Air India have been approved till October 26, according to an official document.
  6. The summer schedule begins on March 31, 2019 for all the airlines. As per the international practice, DGCA approves two flight schedules in a year: a 'summer schedule' effective from the last Sunday of March and a 'winter schedule' from the Sunday of October.
  7. Last month, the government called for an emergency meeting to discuss ongoing issues ailing the airline such as grounding of flights, advance bookings, cancellations, refunds and any potential safety concerns. 
  8. Days later, Naresh Goyal, the founder of the 25-year-old airline, resigned as chairman, after caving in to pressure from creditors. The board of the airline approved the resignation of Mr Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal.
  9. The banks, which would get 11.4 crore new shares in the company, agreed to provide the airline with an immediate funding of Rs. 1,500 crore.
  10. Jet Airways shares fell as much as 4 per cent on Wednesday underperforming the broader market which was up about 0.4 per cent in afternoon.

(With agency inputs)





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Highlights

1
Debt-ridden Jet Airways has delayed payment to pilots, suppliers, lessors
2
Creditors have temporarily taken majority stake in the airline
3
Last month, SBI-led group of lenders granted a Rs 1,500-crore loan to Jet

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