DGCA Calls Meeting With Airlines On Tuesday To Discuss Rising Fares
A group watches a Jet Airways (India) Ltd. airplane preparing for takeoff in Mumbai, India (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg News)  

DGCA Calls Meeting With Airlines On Tuesday To Discuss Rising Fares

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The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has called a meeting on Tuesday noon to discuss with airlines the upward spiral in airfares as Jet Airways (India) Ltd. continue to ground its aircraft and cancel a significant number of flights, a government official said.

According to the official, after the aviation regulator grounded all 12 of SpiceJet Ltd.’s 737 Max aircraft on March 13 following the Ethiopian Airlines crash, that killed 157 people, the problem of rising airfares in Indian market has “aggravated”.

Cash-strapped Jet Airways on Monday said it grounded four more planes, taking the number of aircraft that are non-operational due to non-payment of lease rentals to 41.

Etihad Airport services, in a notification to its passengers on Sunday, said, “Jet Airways has cancelled all their flights from Abu Dhabi with immediate effect from March 18 due to operational reasons.” The airline has a fleet of 119 planes, according to its website.

For last few weeks, passengers have been venting their ire on social media as Jet Airways’ flight cancellations have increased gradually due to rising number of grounded aircraft. Grappling with financial woes, the carrier has been looking at ways to raise fresh funds.

The company had earlier said it is actively engaged with all its aircraft lessors and are regularly providing them with updates on the efforts taken to improve the liquidity.

On March 8, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal wrote to Etihad Airways Group CEO Tony Douglas seeking an urgent funding of Rs 750 crore and also warned that any delay in fund infusion might result in its grounding of the carrier,

He had said more than 50 of the aircraft are grounded amid increasing arrears of vendors and salaries to a section of employees.

Jet Airways has a debt of more than Rs 8,200 crore and needs to make repayments of up to Rs 1,700 crore by the end of March.

Also read: Boeing's 737 Max Crisis -- Your Questions Answered: QuickTake

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