The livery of an aircraft operated by Jet Airways India Ltd. is seen on the tail fin as the plane prepares to land at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Aviation Regulator May Bar Jet Airways From Taking Advance Bookings 

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation may bar beleaguered carrier Jet Airways (India) Ltd. from taking advance bookings beyond a particular period amid a drastically reduced capacity and massive flight cancellations, an official said.

As per the official, Jet Airways has been flying only 61 of the 116 planes it has in the fleet, forcing it to cancel as much as 45 percent of its total flights per day.

Jet Airways operates over 600 flights within India and overseas.

“We may ask Jet Airways not to accept forward bookings beyond a particular period,” a senior DGCA official told PTI.

The official also said a final decision on the issue would be taken after seeking a report from Jet Airways.

However, a DGCA spokesperson said there is no such proposal.

“We do not have any such proposal. We shall continue to share relevant information with you all,” the spokesperson said.

The comments came in the wake of the full-service carrier announcing on its website a sale at starting with all-inclusive fares of Rs 1,165 for travel to 37 domestic destinations with one-year travel period validity under a discount scheme.

In late 2014, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) allowed SpiceJet to sell tickets only for travel within a month when the airline was facing financial problems.

Meanwhile, the DGCA will review flight schedule of the carrier at a meeting on Friday.

A senior official last month said the DGCA is reviewing the airline’s flight schedule every 15 days in order to ensure that there are no sudden flight disruptions due to grounding of aircraft.

In addition to offering flight tickets at fares starting as low as Rs 1,165, the airline is also offering 10 percent discount on flight bookings for four or more passengers travelling together, as per Jet Airways website.

It has, however, not given any cut-off date for booking tickets under the offer.

“The tickets are valid for 12 months from the date of commencement of journey,” according to the website.

The Naresh Goyal-promoted carrier has been looking at various ways to raise funds amid acute liquidity crunch that has forced it to ground aircraft, cancel flights in large numbers, shut down stations and delay salary payments to its pilots and engineers along with other senior staff.

On March 8, Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal wrote to Etihad Airways Group CEO Tony Douglas seeking an urgent funding of Rs 750 crore under an MoU signed between various stakeholders.

In the letter, Goyal also said “Jet Airways is in a very precarious position, with more than 50 aircraft grounded and increasing arrears of vendors and salaries which makes the need for interim funding all the more imperative.”

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