Troubled Indian carrier Jet Airways has grounded as many as 47 aircraft and delayed payments as it struggles under the pressure of debts totalling more than £750 million.
According to the BBC, the airline has put off paying banks, employees, suppliers and aircraft lessors, leading it to ground nearly half of its fleet of 100 aeroplanes.
The National Aviators Guild has warned Jet Airways that its pilot members would stop flying for the carrier unless their salaries are paid by the end of March, while the Directorate of General Civil Aviation in India has asked it to refund passengers or provide alternatives if their flights are cancelled.
It has emerged that pilots and other senior staff have not received their full salaries since December.
The Jet Aircraft Engineers Welfare Association claims the safety of aeroplanes operated by Jet Airways is “at risk” because engineers are finding it difficult to meet their own financial commitments, with the pressure affecting their “psychological condition”.
Jet Airways’ company secretary said in a letter to the National Stock Exchange of India on Tuesday that the airline is trying to “improve its liquidity”.
According to Reuters, the Indian government has asked state-run banks to swap debt for liquidity and buy stakes in Jet Airways in a bid to save the carrier and avoid job losses.
Last year, Jet Airways announced a new service between Manchester and Mumbai, and increased the frequency on the route before it had even launched.