Indian carrier JetAirways yesterday suspended all flights until – indeed if it can ever get, the emergency funding it was promised but never received.
Hope still remains that an investor will come forward by April 30, but it’s looking less likely. With the airline grounded any goodwill has basically evaporated.
India’s lack of bankruptcy laws and restructuring protections have it seems, led to yet another airline collapsing in a long, slow death spiral, just as Kingfisher faced in 2012. Seven years later and there is still fallout over that collapse.
Once again 15,000 staff bore the brunt of working for months without pay in hope something would happen.
Lax regulations and an antiquated business law framework have a great deal of responsibility for the way this saga has played out.
The worst part is those responsible get away with it and walk away largely unscathed.
Lease companies will now have to go through hoops and piles of bureaucracy to get aircraft back and staff will likely never see a single rupee in back pay.
The chances of the airlines survival this morning were described as ‘slim’. Banks refused to give it the money to stay flying fearing it would never be repaid.
The airline has $1.2 billion in debt and has failed to pay leases and fuel bills because it had no cash. Unless someone can take on the debt, pay lease arrears and fuel bills it’s days are numbered.
Even if it does come back many of its routes have been given to other airlines by the government due to a shortage of flights JetAirways once served.