MUMBAI, India - India's second largest airline Jet Airways on Monday announced it had grounded four more aircraft and cancelled all flights to Etihad's hub in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi-headquartered Etihad is the second largest shareholder in Jet Airways, holding a 24% stake. It is currently in discussions with Jet about increasing its stake. The difficulty for Etihad is it has its own troubles, having just reported a $1.2 billion loss for 2018. Much of Etihad's woes have been its investments in foreign airlines, particularly its venture into Alitalia.
Meanwhile, the UAE Ambassador to India Ahmed Al Banna said in New Delhi that it is for Jet Airways and Etihad to break the impasse in talks.
"They may be facing some difficulties but it is up to them to decide what they want to do," he said.
Facing the worst financial crisis of its 26-year existence, the airline has grounded about half its fleet, cancelled flights, delayed salaries and defaulted on the loan and other payments.
"Further to our letter on March 13, we now write to inform you that an additional four aircraft have been grounded due to non-payment of amounts outstanding to lessors under their respective lease agreements," Kuldeep Sharma, Jet Airways's Vice President for Global Compliance and Company Secretary, informed stock exchanges in regulatory filings.
The company is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and regularly provides them with updates on the efforts undertaken to improve its liquidity, he said adding aircraft lessors have been supportive of the company's efforts in this regard.
Jet Airways, founded in 1993 and based in Mumbai, said it is also making all efforts to minimise disruption to its network and proactively informing and re-accommodating its passengers. The company also continues to provide required and periodic updates to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in this regard. (Big News Network/ANI)