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Jet no-show in Kolkata first time in 27 years

KOLKATA: For the first time in 27 years, Jet Airways didn't determine on flight data boards at Kolkata airport on Thursday. The airline that operated nearly 4 dozen flights out of town till a couple of years in the past, connecting all major airports in India, in addition to Bangkok and Dhaka, suspended operations to Kolkata and different airports in the east and northeast from Thursday. Flight operations in different parts of the country can be suspended over the next 24 hours as well, grounding the airline pan-India from Saturday.

The shutdown, that had gave the impression approaching after the airline defaulted on compensation of loans and price of salaries to staff, has left the airline’s pilots, cabin group and floor staff distraught and unsure in regards to the future.

In Kolkata, around 200 staff and as many contractual staffers are staring at conceivable job losses. Until recent price range are pumped into Jet Airways through an investor quickly, the airline is about to meet the same fate as Kingfisher Airlines, which had additionally run up high debts and in the long run closed operations in 2012.

Another airline — low-cost service SpiceJet — was teetering on the verge of collapse in 2015 earlier than it was rescued through co-founder Ajay Singh. However, in contrast to Kingfisher, and now Jet Airways, SpiceJet had by no means totally suspended operations. Aviation industry professionals mentioned reviving an airline this is totally grounded for almost a month can be a mammoth problem.

“The ultimate flight out of Kolkata was to Mumbai that took off at 8pm on Wednesday. On Thursday, there was no activity at the airport. Pilots, cabin group, engineering and maintenance staff, and a majority of the ground staffers, didn’t document for work. Though all passengers were been knowledgeable and their tickets reimbursed, a skeletal staff was present at the airport to deal with the location if any passenger turned up anticipating to board a flight,” mentioned an airline professional.

The airline that has been flying into Kolkata since 1992, had 47 flights out of town three years in the past. It was, for over a decade, the largest airline running out of town till IndiGo overtook it a couple of years in the past. On Wednesday, only two flights had taken off from Kolkata, flight 9W615 to Mumbai and flight 9W675 to Guwahati.

Saddled with a debt of more than Rs 8,500 crore, but even so unpaid dues to plane lessors, staff and providers, the airline had just 14 planes in operation on Thursday, down from 123 planes that criss-crossed its network in 2016. With Indian Oil Corporation Ltd preventing gasoline provide on Wednesday because of non-payment of dues, it has become just about impossible to stay the cash-starved service airborne.

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