The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Civil Aviation Secretary have called for an urgent meeting on Jet Airways at 6 pm on Friday. Nripendra Mishra, the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the meeting. Government officials have previously expressed concern about the loss of jobs at the airline and on the prospect of higher airfares if Jet Airways collapsed.
The move comes after Union Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday directed Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola to review issues concerning Jet Airways, which has been operating with less than 10 planes. “Directed Secretary MoCA to review issues related to Jet Airways. Asked him to take necessary steps to minimise passenger inconvenience and ensure their safety,” Mr Prabhu tweeted this morning.
The airline on Friday also announced the suspension of its international flights till Monday.
The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest (EoI) for Jet Airways also closed on Friday. The group of Jet Airways’ lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI), have been seeking a new investor to take a stake of up to 75 per cent in the airline. Initial bids were to be submitted by the end of Wednesday, but SBI had extended the deadline to Friday.
The beleaguered Jet Airways has been forced to ground more than 80 per cent of its fleet over unpaid dues to leasing companies, pushing it to the brink of shutdown and jeopardising hopes of a new investor rescuing the carrier.
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