Transport Canada extends India flight ban to Sept. 21

India’s Jet Airways suspending operations, no money to fly

NEW DELHI — Jet Airways, once India’s largest airline, announced today that it is suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services.

The company said it has been informed by its lenders, led by state-run State Bank of India, that they are unable to consider its request for funding to keep flying.

“Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going,” it said in a statement.

“It has decided to go ahead with temporary suspension of operations,” the airline said.

Its last flight was scheduled to fly to New Delhi from the northern Indian city of Amritsar tonight.

The airline, which had 119 aircraft as of Dec. 31 just before it defaulted on some of its $1 billion+ in debt, was down to just 14 aircraft by early April. As reported earlier this week, international flights had already been suspended and the airline was down to flying just seven aircraft on domestic routes.

Jet Airways operated out of Toronto for more than 10 years, offering flights via Amsterdam to India’s top destinations.

On April 16 the airline’s former chairman, Naresh Goyal, reportedly withdrew plans to bid for a controlling stake in the company. Goyal founded Jet Airways in 1992 and saw it soar to become India’s largest airline.

It was not immediately clear who else might bid for the company. Etihad Aviation Group purchased a 24% stake in 2013.

The airline reported a net loss in the quarter that ended in December of 5.8 billion rupees, about US$83 million. Jet Airways pilots complained that they had not received a salary in four months.

The New Delhi Television news channel said 20,000 jobs at the airline were at stake.

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