New Delhi: Financially battered Jet Airways has cancelled 19 flights because it has grounded four of its Boeing 737 aircraft as part of its attempt to stay afloat. The move comes as lessors are about to take back possession of these aircraft. The airline has been in the midst of a financial crisis as it defaulted on payments of interest and principal instalment last month to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI), after it failed to raise Rs 1,500 crore short-term debt to meet its working capital requirement.
One flight each grounded in 4 metro cities
According to a report published in The Indian Express, a Jet Airways employee said on the condition of anonymity, “One aircraft each has been grounded at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru airports due to which flights have been cancelled. Some of these 19 flights are even cancelled for tomorrow (Wednesday). However, a resolution is expected by end of this week.”
The move follows a high-level meeting between the senior management of Jet Airways and SBI officials earlier this month in which the two sides discussed the battered airline’s revival plans.
Jet seeks a helping hand from Etihad
The airline is reportedly in talks with its partner Etihad to get an additional cash infusion. A BSE filing by the company on Monday said that it had sought the approval of the shareholders for the conversion of loans into shares or convertible instruments or other securities, hinting that banks are likely to convert part of its debt into equity.
The move could be aimed at facilitating the conversion of debt into equity by lenders as part of the restructuring plan. Jet Airways proposed that its share capital is increased to Rs 2,200 crore. A meeting of the shareholder is slated to happen on February 21.