Jet Airways shut down is the saddest news of Indian aviation history post Kingfisher airline debacle in 2012. We’ve all heard the name of the airline Jet Airways. One of the largest airlines from the private sector in India, the company now faces huge financial setbacks. The bank debt that the airlines is stuck with accounts for $ 1.2 billion. The last few months airline made repeated requests to its lenders and various banks to grant loans and emergency funds in order for them to continue operations.
With no lender and no money in hand, Jet Airways has shut down its operation on 18th April 2019.
The Giant’s Saga
Jet Airways was the largest in the private airline sector in India. With a fleet of over 120 planes, the airline was known to operate more than 600 flights daily. With roughly 23,000 employees, it was easily one of the biggest players in the market and favoured by many fliers.
However, in the last few years, the private airline sector has seen competition reach new heights. Carriers like SpiceJet and IndiGo are low-cost and have been the biggest competitors for Jet Airways. There have been several other factors as well. The increase in oil prices and the taxes with the deteriorating value of the INR also contribute.
The Decline of Jet Airways
The last few weeks have seen the company being forced to cancel all flights going out of the country. There have been several cancellations for domestic flights as well.
Some bankers have said that Jet Airways had requested for a 4 billion rupee loan to keep itself afloat.
“Bankers did not want to go for a piecemeal approach which would keep the carrier flying for a few days and then again risk having Jet come back for more interim funding”as per sources from Reuters.
The Government Factor
Many critics have said that the failure of the Jet Airlines would pose as a problem for the Modi Government. With highest unemployment rate, this will be another dent on government’s effort for providing employment. Also, in the last five years the government has focused on making aviation more accessible to the people. This too has resulted in low fairs and decrease in the profitability of most of the airlines.
Critics also say that the government has essentially failed the corporate giant. Despite the government’s many efforts at saving jobs with the airline, the plan has essentially failed. Many say that it is unfair for the government to offer loans to Air India and not to Jet Airways.
From the Employees
Bhoja Poojari is father to two children who’s world now stands clouded by anxiety over his childrens’ future.
Anil Sahu is one of Jet’s baggage handler who holds 25 years of experience under his belt with the airline.
We all surely agree that the decline of the Jet Airways and what seems to be its doom is a shame. The airline has had a series of loyal customers for over 25 years. However in light of recent financial turbulence being faced by the economy, it is important to be strict. Whether the government could have done more or not is a subjective matter, always up for debate. What remains to be seen is how this latest fiasco affects the aviation industry. Also, as a citizen we would appeal to the government to bring some mechanism to safeguard the jobs of affected employees.