India’s Jet Airways Ceases Operations

Filed Under: Jet Airways

The inevitable has happened. India’s Jet Airways is ceasing operations as of today.

According to Jet Airways they aren’t actually going out of business, but rather are “unable to conduct flight operations,” so they’re viewing this as a temporary suspension.

This is happening after Jet Airways has been unable to secure emergency funding from banks to continue to operate, as just about every potential opportunity for them to stay alive has failed to materialize. This includes both looking to Indian banks and other airlines for opportunities.

Jet Airways 777

Last week I wrote about the horrible financial situation that Jet Airways was in. The airline has been looking for investors, and has racked up over a billion dollars in debt, missing payments for employees, fuel, and even aircraft lease payments. The Indian aviation market is incredibly challenging, and with increased competition from low cost carriers, Jet Airways has been in a tougher situation than ever before.

What’s interesting is the the fact that the airline has continued to operate for weeks, despite already basically being out of business. For example, last week nearly 90% of the carrier’s planes were grounded, as they were down to just over a dozen planes, from a fleet of 120 planes at the beginning of the year. Jet Airways used to be India’s largest private airline, though obviously fell a long way.

While Jet Airways views this as a temporary suspension of flight operations, it seems unlikely to me that the airline will ever fly again…

Here’s to hoping that Jet Airways employees can find new employment opportunities elsewhere. Given the global pilot shortage I’m sure pilots won’t have issues finding jobs elsewhere, assuming they’re willing to move (which I realize isn’t ideal).

My money is also on Delta using this as justification for not launching flights to Mumbai, as I question how serious they were about that in the first place.

I’ve flown Jet Airways a few times, most recently a year ago from Dubai to Mumbai on a 737 in business class, and then from Mumbai to London on a 777 in first class. Check out those trip reports if you want a trip down (Jet Airways) memory lane…

Jet Airways’ 777 first class

Comments
  1. Jet airways was one of the better airlines from a customer service perspective…Indian passengers will sure miss this airline

  2. What happens to the ticket I bought from jet airways for my upcoming trip next month from Iah to Bom.
    Iah- bombay is operated by Lufthansa and on myway back my first leg is on Jet airways and then KLM. Should I cancel the ticket and ask for refund or should i just change to another airlines for the first leg of my return flight. Please suggest.

    Thanks in advance.

  3. I hope everything works out. Between Air India and Jet Airways I much preferred Jet Airways experience overall.

  4. If only Air India will die like it needs to as well. The world needs to be rid of these dodgy airlines.

  5. Luckily India has a new-ish airline, Vistara. They are absolutely incredibly, partially owned by SQ.

  6. Glad the suspension is only temporary, looking forward to flying them for my trip to India this summer.

  7. @Joe Chivas

    I think this temporary suspension will become permanent pretty soon, so I wouldn’t count on flying them in the summer.

  8. Flown from HKG to Delhi and Delhi to KTM. One long and one very short flight. Full delicious Indian meals were served on both flights. Good airline. I feel bad for the flight attendants!

  9. What about the other airlines with codeshare arrangements involving Jet? On top of the 737-800, A330, and 777-300ER now unused, that’s 217 737 MAX-8 orders cancelled. Yikes

  10. @Jim, I 100% agree and share your feelings. My first trip to India was in 2012 and I’ve flown dozens of domestic routes on Jet Airways since then. Even in coach they managed to supply a hot, delicious meal with choice–including a separate beverage (beer if you wanted it) on flights barely 1 hour long. The flight attendants (mostly male on my flights) were always smiling and would literally run down the aisles passing out drinks and collecting trays to finish the service before landing. Their wages were small compared to US airlines, but these were very good jobs in the Indian market and they had pride in them. They treated customers kindly and equally, whether young or old… foreign or local.

    There was nothing dodgy about them.

  11. Business class tickets between U.K. and India, have already increased with the end of the Jet airways service.

    Is the golden age of overcapacity leading to such good fares about to end?

  12. By injecting millions and millions into Air India, the government basically put Jet out of business. It would have been so much better to just let Jet compete and win on a level playing field.

  13. I wish Mr. Ambani throws some of his pocket change at Jet and resurrects them – with a new name of course, Ambani Airways or Reliance Airlines! Not surprising if he does that – given how spread out his empire is – but then again, he knows business better than anyone else… so if he does not get into it, there is a solid reason for it – and that explains the collapse… O well 🙂

  14. I think this is the 11th or 12th airline to go under this year so far. Certainly one of the biggest we’ve seen over the last few years.

    Too bad, Jet Airways was definitely better than Air India, and should have been the national airline. Sad to see them go down like this. Were they the first airline to offer a suite with a door in first class? If not, I think they were at least among the first who did.

  15. @Mike
    I think you could contact Jet Airways and request a new routing via AMS/CDG on KLM – Air France or maybe even via AUH on Etihad

  16. Between Air India receiving infinite bailouts and India’s crazy rules that prevent startups from serving international routes, I think it’ll be a while before we see another successful full-service carrier there.

  17. So i Booked a flight to India that flies thru London with Virgin and then goes to Madras. Should I just assume my itinerary is completely canceled? or would the virgin part still be true?

  18. I hate to see a SkyTeam airline go out of business.

    I wonder if this increases or decreases the likelihood of Delta making good on their announcement that they’re launching a flight to Mumbai in 2019.

  19. I had noked my tickets my round trip travel from Delhi to Newyork and back in Jet Airways though online booking travel agency Goibibo for June 2019.How do get back my refund due to cancellation of flight.Goibibo does not respond.Eill it be 100 % refund.Please advise.

  20. I had boooked my round trip travel tickets from Delhi to Newyork and back in Jet Airways though online booking travel agency Goibibo for June 2019.How do i get back my refund due to cancellation of flight.Goibibo does not respond.will it be 100 % refund.Please advise.

  21. The pilots will be fine. The best landing I ever experienced was on Jet at AUH. I did not realize we had touched down until the plane slowed and turned off the runway.

  22. @prashant

    Assuming you paid with a credit card, if yes your in good shape, call your cc company and dispute the charge, breach of contract. If you paid by cash you might have to take the agency to small claims court as also breach of contract.

  23. what happens to the planes they leased out to other airlines? do those airlines just keep them forever? 😉

  24. payment for booking of tickets was made through Net banking.Is thrre going to be any guide line for refund to the passengers who made their booking through online travel agency like Goibibo or make my trip also.

  25. If only UA, DL and AA would die too, instead of gouging the public and still providing the shoddiest service in the world. Even Air Koryo offered a better experience than the US3. Too bad the US govt provides billions of dollars of benefits through tax dollars.

  26. @Kent

    Are you related to debit? Blaming US govt for everything.
    As bad as US3 are now, I hardly believe Air Koryo to be better than DL or AA. (oops UA??)

    @Prashant

    There are simply few rules when booking flights/hotels.
    1. ALWAYS use a credit card.
    If you don’t have one, you have more important things in life you need to do first than travel. Get a credit card.
    If you can’t get one, you have more important things in life you need to do first than travel. Do whatever it takes to get a credit card.
    2. Re read rule #1

  27. SriLankan Airlines offers alternative flights with Air India for it’s documented passengers for Indian domestic connections.

  28. We flew Jet YYZ-AMS-YYZ in 10/18 in business class – nice ride, professional but not particularly friendly crew. Food was not memorable.

  29. @Mike, Jet Airways would only offer refunds and are not allowing you to change your return leg to another airline. Was scheduled to fly to Paris CDG but they can’t put me on Air France being the prices they are even though CDG-BOM was on AF while the outbound on 9W. Had to cancel the ticket and book a last minute flight on Who has which was almost 1.75x the price of the original ticket. Wasted about $1100 doing so‍♂️

  30. A key factor which is underreported is that Etihad killed Jet. Before Etihad’s investment into Jet , Jet was profit making. Once Etihad invested 25% Jet reduced its India-Europe-US flights and moved the traffic to India-Abu Dhabi continuing on Etihad. This is a low margin route unlike the Europe and US routes . Jet also had some of the first 777s which it had bought for India-US nonstop flights. Etihad took these planes over and used them for Abu-Dhabi US flights. As a result in the first 2 years of the investment (2013-2014) Jet made a billion in losses and went into debt with big banks. By 2016 Naresh Goyal the promoter had a change of heart and started moving flights back to India-Amsterdam and got into talks with AF-KLM and Delta about joining Skyteam. In the meantime they were still bleeding and needed cash infusion from the debtor banks. Banks agreed to debt to Equity conversion but Etihad blocked it. They made a condition that Naresh Goyal has to sell his shares, exit the company and hire a White CEO. When Naresh Goyal did not agree they blocked the recapitalization till Jet ran out of credit. For Etihad protecting feed to Abu Dhabi was more important than recouping any of their investment into Jet and they were perfectly willing to bankrupt Jet to make a point. (When you dont have to make profits and are backed by oil money you can afford to be a douchebag)
    An Etihad investment has become a sure Kiss of Death – Air Berlin, Air Italia and now Jet. Anyone who gets into bed with Etihad will surely regret it.

  31. Vistara look a good bet going forward. I flew them in Premium Economy from Deli to Goa and it was definitely the best internal flight i’ve Ever taken in India and as they begin to laugh long haul routes I certainly would choose them if they operated a route I need to use. I think the involvement of SQ shine through. Very clean cabin and excellent service. I hope they grow successfully in a tough market.

  32. @Eskimo

    Come on – everyone knows the US government and the corporations are two faces of the same coin. Even the FAA is powerless this days. My experience on Air Koryo was much more pleasant than with the US3. At least flying on Air Koryo was novel and exciting. So I stand by my earlier statement that similar dissolution need to occur within the US.

  33. I have flown this airline 4 times and they had the best service and were 10 on professionalism compared to a 2 for Air India. They will be missed.
    I will never forget Air India passengers trying to pick up my 12 year daughter and have cigarettes and lighters ready to use in the bathroom. Good Times

  34. I booked a flight from Charlotte to Mumbai at aa.com for this summer, got a good fare, just saw that the London to Mumbai and return to London was booked on Jet.

    Called American Airlines and they offered to cancel and refund or they want me to pay a price difference when they rebook me on another airline.

    What are my options to push back on American Airlines, as I bought the ticket through them.

    Thanks in advance

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