No bail-out for Jet Airways: Minister
The Central government on Monday ruled out the possibility of providing any financial bail-out or leeway to cash-strapped Jet Airways, stating that it’s the prerogative of the company’s management to implement policies to ensure smooth functioning of the airline.
According to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, the government looks at sector-specific issues in the current de-regulated policy environment.
Prabhu was answering questions on a possible bail-out package for the airline at the launch event of the upgraded version of “AirSewa 2.0 web portal and mobile app” here.
Jet airways is unable to pay charges of the airport operators. It can’t pay its staff salaries. It can’t pay its lessors. It can’t operate its flights. Yesterday it had to cancel 10 flights at Mumbai. Still it wanted some time.
However, the Civil Aviation secretary R N Choubey said the issue has to be sorted out between the airline and the airport operators and that the ministry has no role in such commercial deliberations.
Currently, the airline is facing financial troubles due to an increase in Brent fuel, along with a weak rupee and a mismatch between high fuel prices and low fares.
On November 16, Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group firms, said discussions on acquiring a stake in the financially troubled airline are at a preliminary stage and that no such proposal has been made so far.
Reports of Tata’s interest in Jet Airways had boosted its market sentiments, though it had in mid-October termed such reports as mere speculation.
Launched in 1993, the Mumbai-based Jet Airways currently operates on 66 domestic and international destinations with a fleet of 124 aircraft.