Accommodating passengers from its cancelled flights has become harder for Jet Airways as at least two airlines have cancelled their ‘flight interruption manifest (FIM) agreement’ with the airline.
This comes at a time when the cash-strapped airline is cancelling more than 100 flights daily due to grounding of its planes.
An FIM is a document issued by an airline as a substitute ticket which allows a passenger to fly by another airline in case the original travel is disrupted by a schedule change, overbooking or cancellation.
In return, the airline reimburses the amount to other carriers on a fortnightly basis at a pre-agreed rate.
Sources aware of the development said Air India and Vistara have cancelled the agreement on Friday. “With immediate effect and till further notice, Jet Airways and JetLite Limited documents, including FIMs, are not to be accepted for travel on Air India flights,” said a notice issued by the airline’s commercial department.
“Basically, an interline agreement has this loophole where the airlines only pays a pre-determined value to its partner airline. Vistara felt that its last remaining seats, which sell at high fare, was being booked by Jet Airways at the pre-agreed value which is much lower than current price of its tickets. For instance, a Delhi-Mumbai flight, which is selling at Rs 12,000 at the last moment, may be sold for Rs 4,000 by Jet Airways. That’s a commercial loss for Vistara,” said a source in the travel industry.
Analysts justified Vistara’s decision saying that last minute fares have firmed up between metros and there is no point selling them at a pre fixed lower rate.
More than 25 aircraft of Jet Airways has been grounded by lessors due to non-payment of lease rentals. The airline, which started the winter schedule with 103 planes, is now down to 83.