The airline is operating just 6-7 planes, with almost its entire fleet being grounded due to non-payment of rentals to lessors amid severe paucity of cash. “We would like to appeal SBI to release Rs 1,500 crore funds for the airline to help it continue operations.
We also appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to save 20,000-odd jobs at the airline,” NAG VP Adim Valiani told reporters at the airline’s headquarter, Siroya Centre, here.
Earlier, the airline’s pilots, engineers and cabin crew members assembled at the headquarters to show their solidarity.
The airline’s pilots along with engineers and senior staff were last paid for December, 2018. This apart, the airline has also defaulted on the March salary of other categories of employees as well.
Last month, an SBI-led consortium of lenders had taken management control of the airline post a debt-recast deal, following which the lenders had proposed to infuse as much as Rs 1,500 crore to the carrier to keep it afloat till the time it gets a investor.
The Monday meeting with lenders is reportedly expected to take a final decision on the quantum of funds to be infused immediately to avert a possible shut down. A meeting between the airline management and its major lender SBI last Friday could not take a decision on the fund infusion issue.
Fuel supply only till afternoon: Sources
Jet Airways has time till Tuesday afternoon to pay fuel vendors failing which it might have to ground its operational fleet, industry sources said on Monday. According to industry insiders, the company is almost out of funds and is relying solely on the scant funds being infused by lenders on an expense-to-expense basis. “The fuel supply is expected to run out from Tuesday afternoon as fresh payments would be required for vendors,” an industry source said. Corroborating this, a Jet Airways official in New Delhi said: “A proposal for a fresh fund infusion has been given to the lenders.” At present, Jet is operating only 7 aircraft for domestic operations due to the grounding of over 80 per cent of its fleet by lessors owing to non-payment of dues. The full service carrier’s situation is critical as the airline, that once operated around 120 aircraft, is now left with just 16 planes in its fleet.
Flights to remain cancelled till April 18
“The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, and as a result we have extended cancellation of international operations through Thursday,” said CEO Vinay Dube in a letter on Monday to Jet’s over 20,000 employees.
Banks had earlier promised to pump Rs 1,500 crore into the airline
Jet Airways management and lenders here on Monday held marathon meetings to resolve the financial crisis and the board will meet on Tuesday morning.
Dube said the airline had been working with lenders to secure interim funding for operations. The company management, he said would seek guidance from the board on the steps forward. “We will keep you updated on all the critical developments,” the CEO assured employees.
On Friday, the airline cancelled international operations for April 12 to 15. On Sunday, it extended cancellation of West-bound flights -- to and from Amsterdam, London and Paris -- until April 16.
It was reported that Jet has stopped forward bookings for some of its international sectors, including those for east Asia.
The airline is operating only 7 aircraft in domestic sectors due to grounding of 80 per cent of fleet by lessors. It has resulted in cancellation of several hundred flights and passengers getting stranded at airports.
The unpaid employees of the airline have taken out silent marches in New Delhi and Mumbai.