New Delhi, Apr 18: “The airline is operating seven aircraft and we will give its unutilised slots to other Indian carriers,” said a senior aviation official. No, he is not talking about Jet but this statement was made in August-September 2012 for Kingfisher. There are many similarities in the last days of Kingfisher and Jet (hopefully it may restart). Both the airlines stopped international operations and went all-domestic before suspending operations, though in Jet’s case that happened for less than a week, while Kingfisher flew within the country for some months.
“It has been decided that flight operations will be suspended for the next three days until October 4, 2012,” a Kingfisher statement of October 1 said, declaring the temporary suspension. It’s another matter that the airline never flew again. Jet’s employees hope that their airline’s suspension is actually temporary and it will fly again.
Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya had left India for London on a Jet Airways’ flight from Delhi in March 2016. Now fighting India’s attempts to extradite him, Mallya on Wednesday tweeted from London: “Even though Jet was a major competitor to Kingfisher at the time I feel sorry to see such a large private airline on the brink of failure when government used (Rs) 35K crore of public funds to bail out Air India. Just being a PSU is no excuse for discrimination…. Even though we were fierce competitors, my sympathies go out to Naresh and Neeta Goyal who built Jet Airways that India should be extremely proud of. Fine Airline providing vital connectivity and class service. Sad that so many airlines have bitten the dust in India. Why?”
Vijay Mallya feels ‘sorry’ for Jet Airways; asks why many airlines have failed in India
Airlines have long called for making India less cost-hostile for them. Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani said in a Facebook post on Wednesday: “The closure of Jet, even if temporarily, is definitely a setback to Indian aviation. It is indeed a sad day for all those in the business of flying in the country to witness a fine airline closing shop. While sustained mismanagement definitely contributed, the fact remains that in the entire aviation eco-system, it is the airline that invariably remains at the receiving end, while all other stakeholders make money. We have in the past witnessed many airlines shutting shop and it is time to appreciate that airlines are forced to operate with razor-thin margins in a competitive environment, which result in a scenario that encourages un-sustainability.