A little past Wednesday mid-might Jetlite flight no. S2 3502 landed in Mumbai airport’s terminal 2 and an 25 years old journey ended – well apparently, for now, at least!
Jet Airways announced suspension of its operations on Wednesday with potential investors asking lenders to take an upto-80% haircut on their Rs 8,500-crore debt. After a long period of uncertainties and desperate attempts to save the ailing Airlines, the lack of interim funding has finally resulted into its close-down. The fall started with international operation and then came the domestic. Jet owes Rs 8,500 crore to its bankers, about Rs 3,000 crore to vendors and fuel companies which is in addition to the pending salaries of 16,000 of its employees.
Jet Airways has been India’s favorite Airline for 25 years. From its launch, the Airline stood out for its stylish, professional and customer-centric attitude. The crew, the ground-staffs, the remote customer care team – were well-trained to maintain this image of the Airline. Besides, the Airline was the one of the best paymasters among Indian Airlines.
The lenders have commented that they would like to rework all lease and engineering contracts of Jet and bring down lease rentals by half. Even after all these cuts, experts estimate that Jet will need up to Rs 20,000 crore over the next 3 years to resume and continue its operation.
The Jet employees as well as lakhs of its passengers are now hoping that one of the four bidders - Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and NIIF, who have expressed interest for Jet Airways, would be chosen on May 10, by the lenders.