India's Jet Airways runs out of cash, shuts down

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 18, 2019 - Duration: 01:26s

India's Jet Airways runs out of cash, shuts down

Jet Airways, once India's largest private airline, is over a billion dollars in debt and has not paid its pilots and employees in weeks.

It has also decided to pull its planes from the skies.

Jayson Albano reports.


India's Jet Airways runs out of cash, shuts down

Jet Airways, what was once India's largest private airline, halted all operations indefinitely Wednesday (April 17).

It's over a billion dollars in debt, it's failed to secure a loan to save itself, and its pilots and employees have gone unpaid for weeks.

Two sources at state-run banks told Reuters they'd rejected a request for loans to Jet.

One told Reuters bankers didn't want to risk Jet burning through those loans - only to seek more temporary funding.

Meanwhile, the union representing Jet's ground staff says employees are struggling.

(SOUNDBITE) (Hindi) VICE PRESIDENT OF NATIONAL AVIATORS GUILD AND EMPLOYEE OF JET AIRWAYS, ASIM VALIANI, SAYING: "There is an environment of stress at home.

Some have old parents, who have medical expenses, school fees of children, some have children studying abroad.

Some people have taken housing loans, but their payments are bouncing because they don't have any money." The airline says it will work with it banks to find an investor that can buy a majority stake and try to turn Jet around.

If that fails, thousands of Jet's employees will be put out of jobs and thousands more whose jobs are tied to the airline.

That would be a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is currently seeking re-election in a weeks-long series of polls.

His critics blame his government for rising unemployment.

And a Jet collapse would also potentially impact Boeing.

Jet has more than a hundred of Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft on order, the model involved in two recent fatal crashes that have sparked crisis for the plane maker.

Airline employees are expected to hold a demonstration in New Delhi on Thursday (April 18).

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