Friday, October 7, 2022

Jet Airways to fly 40 more planes by end April: official

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NEW DELHI: India’s Jet Airways will fly 40 more planes by the end of next month and is in talks with leasing companies to restart operating several of its grounded aircraft, the country’s top aviation official said on Tuesday.

Lenders of Jet Airways moved in to take a majority stake in the airline, which is saddled with a debt of more than $1 billion, after it failed to convince potential investors to save the airline.

Jet has had to ground more than two-thirds of its fleet as it struggles to pay lenders, suppliers, pilots and leasing companies. It won’t ground any more flights, Pradeep Singh Kharola, secretary at India’s civil aviation ministry, told a news conference in New Delhi, adding that an assessment showed most grounded Jet Airways aircraft are in “good condition.”

He said the ministry would work towards ensuring that flying slots freed up due to the grounded Jet flights are equally distributed among other airlines.

India has already seen one airline go bankrupt in recent years. The demise of Kingfisher Airlines in 2012 left thousands without jobs and lessors lost millions of dollars.

Kingfisher’s founder Vijay Mallya, who owes money to banks and creditors, took to Twitter to express his displeasure with the government and state-run banks for not saving his airline.

“Only wish the same was done for Kingfisher,” said Mallya, who is living in London and has been declared a “fugitive economic offender” by a court in India.

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