- 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 $1 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 $1 billion while the entire company was valued at just $260 million. The current valuation pales in comparison to its $1.6 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 apologize 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.
"We are hopeful that we will be able to bring the Joy of Flying back to you soon."
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.
AP Photo/Bilal Hussein
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.
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