- India’s Jet Airways suspended flight operations on Wednesday.
- The Mumbai-based airline has been struggling in recent months to secure short-term funding and long-term investment.
- According to NPR, the airline is saddled with more than $US1 billion in debt.
- The company’s lenders are looking for an investor to buy the airline.
- Should Jet’s lenders fail to find a new buyer, the carrier will join Wow Air and Primera as airlines that have failed since October.
India’s Jet Airways suspended flight operations on Wednesday. The Mumbai-based airline has been struggling in recent months to secure short-term funding and long-term investment. As a result, the company was forced to stop flying due to its inability to pay for fuel and other expenses.
“It is with deep sadness and with a heavy heart that we would like to share with you that, effective immediately, Jet Airways will be suspending all its domestic and international operations,” Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube said in a statement.
Founded in 1993, Jet Airways grew to become India’s most prominent international airline with a fleet of more than 115 aircraft. However, the airline’s fleet dwindled to less than 20 aircraft in the days before it ceased flight operations, the SCMP reported. The bulk of the airline’s planes had been grounded due to missed lease payments. Aircraft leasing companies have initiated repossession actions against Jet Airways for the missed payments.
According to NPR, the airline owes debts of more than $US1 billion while the entire company was valued at just $US260 million. The current valuation pales in comparison to its $US1.6 billion valuation during the airline’s heyday.
Jet Airways founder and chairman Naresh Goyal stepped down from the airline in late March.
Even though Jet Airways has stopped flying, its CEO believes the airline can be saved as the company’s lenders are currently working to broker a sale to new investors.
“We sincerely and profusely apologise for the disruption to your travel plans. We would like to thank you for your continued patronage, support, and loyalty over the years,” Dube said in a statement.
Should Jet’s lenders fail to find a new buyer, the carrier will join this list of five other airlines that have failed since October.
Primera Air: defunct October 2018.
Primera Air was a subsidiary of Icelandic tourism company Primera Travel Group. Primera Air had been in the process of expanding into the low-cost inter trans-Atlantic airline with a fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft. The carrier ceased operations on October 2, 2018.
Cobalt Airways: defunct October 2018.
Cypress-based Cobalt Air was founded in late 2015 following the shutdown of the country’s national airline Cypress Airways earlier that year. Unfortunately, the airline could not sustain its operation financially and shut down on October 17, 2018.
Germania: defunct February 2019.
Founded in 1978, Berlin-based Germania offered by charter and scheduled passenger service. The airline ceased operations on February 5, 2019, citing financial insolvency due to high fuel prices and the devaluation of the Euro against the US dollar.
Flybmi/British Midland Regional: defunct February 2019.
Founded in 1987, Flybmi was once the regional arms of British Midland International. The airline was sold off in 2012 following BMI’s acquisition by British Airways. Flybmi shut down on February 16, 2019. The airline cited rising spikes in fuels costs and rising carbon costs due to Brexit as contributing causes of its demise.
Wow Air: defunct March 2019.
Founded in 2012, the Icelandic ultra-low-cost carriers collapsed on March 28, 2019, after failing to secure new investment from Icelandair and private equity firm Indigo Partners. The airline blamed its decision to add widebody Airbus A330-300 jetliners a key reason for its poor finances.
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