Jet Airways is suspending all its flights after failing to secure emergency funding to continue operations.
In an update announced to the Indian stock market, the airline confirmed that it has cancelled all domestic and international flights from the 17 April.
It said it took the decision after being informed by the State Bank of India that its consortium of lenders had turned down a request for “critical interim funding”.
Without such funding, the airline admitted that it was not able to pay for the fuel or “critical services” required to sustain operations.
It notes that it undertook a “painstaking evaluation” of all alternatives available and took guidance and advice from its board of directors.
The airline had already suspended international flights until 18 April as an interim measure.
“Over the last several weeks and months, the company has tried every means possible to seek both interim and long-term funding. Unfortunately, despite its very best efforts, the airline has been left with no other choice today but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations,” it stated.
The airline will now wait for the bidding process to begin as SBI and its lenders are actively seeking new shareholders. This process is expected to end on 10 May.
Uganda Airlines has received its first Bombardier CRJ900 regional jet.
The airline accepted its first two aircraft on 16 April, with another two to follow shortly. The aircraft were ordered in July 2018 at the Farnborough air show. There are configured in a 76 seat, two-class configuration. Uganda Airlines is the first African operator to select the Atmosphere cabin fitting option.
“We are thrilled to commence our operations with the world’s leading regional jet, and we look forward to providing the most modern passenger experience in regional aviation to people of Uganda and across Africa,” said Uganda National Airline chief executive Ephraim Bagenda.
The airline has yet to begin operations, the start-up tweeted in March that early destinations for the carrier will include Kinshasa, Khartoum and Lusaka, as well as Bujumbura. Plans to expand into Accra and Johannesburg are also being planned.
In addition to the CRJ900s, Uganda Airlines also has an order placed for two Airbus A330-800s.
Danilo Toninelli, the Italian transport minister, has stated on national radio that he hopes there will a final decision at the end of the month as to the future of Alitalia. The airline was placed into administration in 2017 and has so far failed to attract a bidder or partner willing to inject funds into the operator.
Italy’s Ferrovie dello Stato (FS) has bid for up to 30% of the airline, while Delta Air Lines is interested in taking 15%, and the Italian Treasury another 15%, if various media reports are correct. This still leaves a remaining 40% outstanding. The bid deadline is April 30.
The Italian unions for representing Alitalia’s pilots and cabin crews have warned the government that the situation will deteriorate further as a June 30 deadline for the repayment of a €900 million state loan is fast approaching. The unions said they are opposed to “state euthanasia, and are ready to open direct talks with possible industrial and financial partners who would guarantee a credible launch of a new Alitalia.”
Indian budget carrier SpiceJet will add five more Bombardier Q400s to its fleet by June to cover some of the capacity lost in the market due to the collapse of Jet Airways.
Three of the turboprops are due to arrive within the next two weeks, with the final two expected by June.
SpiceJet announced the additional Q400s less than a week after it said it would lease 16 additional Boeing 737NGs that will help cover the capacity lost from the grounding of its 13 737 MAX 8s.
Although he did not name Jet Airways specifically, SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh indicated that the additional capacity will help fill the gaps on regional routes lost by the downsizing of the full-service carrier.
“The sudden reduction in aviation capacity should in no way hamper air connectivity to the smaller towns and cities of India and as the country’s largest regional operator, SpiceJet will make all possible efforts in this direction,” he said.
SpiceJet moved quickly to capitalise on the loss of the Jet’s capacity from Mumbai, with plans to launch a host of new international and domestic routes from the city in the coming weeks.
These include services to Riyadh, Dammam Colombo, Hong Kong and Kathmandu which will begin in late May early June.
Market leader IndiGo has also indicated that it plans to increase flights on domestic routes from Mumbai.