Desperate for a financial lifeline to avoid collapse, India’s biggest private airline is now operating just 14 planes out of a total fleet of 124.
India’s largest private airline appears to have suspended all of its international flights, including services to Europe and Asia, the BBC reports, deepening worries about its survival and the fate of its 23,000 employees.
Loaded with more than $1 billion of debt, Jet Airways is desperate for a financial lifeline to avoid collapse.
The crisis is escalating at a critical time for the Indian government, as a massive general election is being staged across the country between now and May 19.
The government promises that steps are being taken to ensure the safety of a tide of passengers who find themselves stranded around the world.
Airlines in India must maintain a fleet of least 20 aircraft to continue to operate international services.
But with an additional 10 aircraft now grounded due to unpaid leasing fees, local media report that the airline is now operating just 14 planes out of a total fleet of 124.
The airline, which has the company slogan The Joy of Flying, normally operates 600 domestic and 380 international routes.
Singapore’s Changi Airport has confirmed that Jet Airways has “suspended its services to and from Singapore until further notice”.
London Heathrow’s website states that Jet Airways’ flights on Friday to Mumbai and Delhi are cancelled, while the carrier’s Friday flights from Delhi to Singapore, London, Amsterdam and Kathmandu have also been cancelled.
Jet Airways has a series of codeshares in operation, for example with Virgin Atlantic, which tells the BBC it is aware a number of Jet Airways flights are cancelled and “any customers who have booked directly with Virgin Atlantic should check our website”.