22 APRIL 2019
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Hopes of saving Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, were still alive but dwindling at the weekend after officials said they were “reasonably hopeful” a bidding process for a stake in the airline of up to 75% would be successful.
Following a series of cutbacks (BTN 15 April), Jet halted all flight operations indefinitely on Wednesday evening after lenders led by the State Bank of India declined to extend more funds to keep the carrier going.
The carrier, which is reported to owe banks about $1.2bn, had been in difficulties for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217m from the lenders as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.
Reuters reported after Wednesday’s shutdown that the crisis at Jet had opened “a window of opportunity” for other airlines which were said to be scrambling for available slots.
But Which? travel editor Rory Boland said: “Passengers will quite rightly be outraged that yet another airline headed for collapse was able to sell tickets to unwitting customers right up to the moment it grounded its planes, once again leaving travel plans in tatters and passengers out of pocket.”
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