NEW DELHI: It is getting increasingly difficult for cash-starved Jet Airways to remain airborne now whether in India or abroad.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) stopped fuel supply to Jet aircraft across India for six hours from 3 pm on Wednesday. This happened a few hours after a Jet Airways aircraft supposed to fly from Amsterdam to Mumbai was seized at Schiphol Airport as a European cargo firm for non-payment of dues. Passengers had not boarded the aircraft and are not stuck inside. But they are now stuck in Amsterdam.
“Fuel supply to Jet has been stopped across India from 3 pm Wednesday,” said an official of IOC. Last Friday also fuel supply was stopped for some hours and resumed only when lender banks gave Rs 33 crore as emergency loan to Jet which allowed it to make payment. On Wednesday, the supply was resumed around 9 pm.
Hours before that, Jet’s 9w 231 was stopped from taking off from Amsterdam Schiphol for Mumbai. A Jet spokesperson said the flight “has been delayed due to operational reasons. Guests have been informed of the same and have been taken care of and served with refreshments during their wait. The airline will further update guests with revised timings. Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests.”
The flight was fully booked and the airline is somehow trying to organize to send the passengers to Mumbai. It had a scheduled departure time of 11.35 am (local time) at Amsterdam and is still stuck there.
The airline is facing heat from unpaid employees, lessors and other stakeholders. Its problems have mounted as lender banks have not issued the promised emergency funding of Rs 1,500 crore.
The airline is now almost completely out of funds. The pilots have served a legal notice to the airline for last three months’ pay dues and have threatened to strike from next Monday unless “substantial” dues are cleared.
Aircraft lessors have now started asking DGCA to de-register planes from Jet’s name so that they could be leased out to other airlines. The regulator has de-registered 7 Boeing 737s and has application for deregistering 24 more planes. Jet is likely to operate an even more truncated fleet from Thursday.