Jet Airways has grounded up to 40 percent of its fleet as the cash-strapped carrier failed to make timely lease payments, according to aviation analysts.
As many as 46 aircraft of Jet Airways are grounded, as lease payments haven’t come through and no new Boeing 737 Max are being delivered currently, which has led to aircraft shortage and cancellations, according to Ajay Awtaney, the founder of the Indian frequent-traveller website Live From A Lounge.
"Jet Airways is cancelling flights as aircraft are being grounded due to lack of parts and are being repossessed by lessors. Jet Airways also underwent a network realignment earlier this month which reduced aircraft requirement," according to a February 28 story on Live From A Lounge.Another aviation expert Ameya Joshi, a columnist for CNBC-TV18.com, said Jet Airways has 40 percent of its 123-aircraft fleet or 47 planes on the ground currently.
Update on #JetAirways groundings40% of the fleet is groundedThanks to collaboration, can keep count of this multiple times a weekB737 36ATR 9B777 1A330 1Total 47 https://t.co/azdtYJhJ06— Ameya (@khabri_lal) March 5, 2019
Jet Airways, in an exchange filing on Monday, said it grounded two more of its aircraft, taking the total number of planes on the ground to 25. As per the airline, almost 20 percent of its fleet is now out of operations.
However, a report in The Economic Times claimed that Jet Airways has grounded more than a third of its 123-plane fleet at the end of December and is cancelling 100 incremental flights every day. InterGlobe Aviation’s IndiGo has said it will cancel 30 daily flights for the next few weeks.
The two airlines normally operate a total 1,700-2,000 flights daily.
Last week, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola had said flight cancellations by Jet were very high.
“The DGCA is monitoring the grounding of aircraft and flight cancellation which is very high currently,” Kharola told reporters on the sidelines of CII’s Aviation Conclave on Wednesday.
Saddled with a billion dollars in debt, Jet has defaulted on loans and has not paid pilots, leasing firms and suppliers for months. Lessors have grounded more than a dozen of its planes pending payment of dues.
The airline is looking to restructure its debt as well as raise funds as part of a rescue plan, which involves founder-chairman Naresh Goyal stepping down from the board.
In an emotional letter to the airline's employees, Goyal said that he was willing to make “any sacrifice” for them and the airline.