For the world's fastest growing aviation market that clocked consistent double-digit growth in domestic air passenger traffic on a monthly basis for the last four-and-a-half years, winding down of operations India's oldest private airline has hurt the growth as one in six aircraft have gone out of Indian skies over the past few months. "And effective today, there are no Jet flights to and from Kolkata, Patna, Guwahati and other airports in the region", said the travel industry source.
The airline informed the stock exchanges on Thursday that lessors had grounded 10 more of its planes, bringing its fleet strength down to 14.
According to regulations, an airline needs to have a minimum fleet of 20 planes to operate worldwide flights. "Jet Airways had proactively cancelled all west-bound long haul flights from India from Thursday until Friday morning", reported news agency Reuters quoting a company spokesman.
When contacted, Jet Airways said its Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati via Kolkata were cancelled for Friday due to "operational reasons".
"As Jet's operations have shrunk significantly, the original bank guarantee will suffice for the dues unlike Kingfisher which had a huge liability". The country's aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has been monitoring its operations and assessing its eligibility to fly overseas.
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Jet's cancellations have affected millions of passengers over the last few months. Its lenders are fervently looking for an investor for the airline. But only about Rs 250 crore has come in.
This comes a day after as many as 200 passengers booked on a Jet Airways flight were stranded in Amsterdam after a service provider seized the debt-laden carrier's aircraft that was supposed to fly them to Mumbai.
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The airline now owes Rs 8,000 crore to lenders, led by the SBI. Though fuel supplies resumed after some hours, it was the second time that Indian Oil had taken such a decision.
On Wednesday, a Boeing 777-300ER by Jet Airways was repossessed at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A Jet spokespersonsaid the flight was cancelled and passengers re-accomodated.