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Jet Airways to fly 40 more aircraft by April end

IANS  |  Delhi 

Jet Airways' management on Tuesday informed the Civil Aviation Ministry that it would fly 40 more aircraft by April end and also assured that it would not ground any more aircraft, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said.

"By Monday or Tuesday, Jet and the lessors should come into an agreement on getting back the grounded planes. By the end of April, Jet would be able to fly 40 more aircraft. As on today, Jet is flying 35 aircraft," Kharola said after meeting with the Jet management including representatives of the State Bank of India (SBI).

The meeting took place post the management takeover by the SBI and its subsequent Rs 1,500 crore capital infusion for emergency funding on working capital needs.

A total of 75 aircraft is envisaged by April end which is around 80 per cent of the Jet's total aircraft previously, he said.

Elaborating on the operational part, Kharola said the financial part of the problem at the airline are being handled by the lenders led by the SBI and the Ministry is only looking at the passenger safety aspects so that they don't have to face any hardship.

He also said the government is also keeping a close watch on the airfares and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has suggested to the airlines not to resort to predatory pricing.

On Monday, Jet Airways promoter Naresh Goyal stepped down and the SBI-led management took over the daily operations and cash flow.

With Goyal's exit and the SBI leading a consortium of banks to take charge of the interim committee, Rs 1,500 crore was infused as emergency funding by the lenders to look at immediate issues.

Jet Airways has been struggling with cash flows for the past six months because of rising fuel costs and intense competition. It has even delayed payment to lessors, airport operators and oil marketing companies besides a part of its workforce to keep the company running.

As many as 40 of its aircraft were grounded due to inability to pay rentals. Its pilots and certain sections of the employees have been without pay for some months, leading the pilots to issue an ultimatum on salary payment to the erstwhile management.

The airline owes Rs 8,000 crore to the SBI-led lenders consortium.

SBI expects Jet to find a new financial investor by the first quarter of next fiscal.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 26 2019. 20:04 IST
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