Jet discontinues in-flight entertainment services

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on April 07, 2019

After discontinuing access to the lounge last month, Jet Airways may not provide in-flight entertainment services, too. The airline has recently informed its passengers that it had discontinued its value-added services such as lounge access from a couple of airports and in-flight entertainment.

This comes even as the bidding for bringing in a new investor has been delayed to April 8. Lenders had earlier said that the expression of interests would be received starting April 6 until April 9. However, the lenders wanted to get clarity on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on debt resolution.

The delay in getting fresh funding is impacting the airline operations. The debt-strapped airline informed its flyers that, “Effective April 1, our free in-flight entertainment service, JetScreen, will be temporarily unavailable on domestic and international flights.”

According to a company source, “The airline is evaluating its services, and the benefit it provides to its flyers and the airline itself. After the ongoing turbulences are over, in the future, we might want to change our model to make ancillary revenue from the services that we provide on the flight.”

The airline has been facing severe headwinds for the past six months with delayed salaries, non-payment of dues to lessors and vendors among other issues. So far the lessors to the airline have grounded 91 aircraft on account of non-payment of dues; this leaves the airline with merely 28 aircraft out of 119. The airline is using those aircraft to fly most of its international routes.

Vishok Mansingh, former CEO of Trujet and current CEO at CAV Aero Services, said: “Jet Airways is getting a slow death, they have lost slots, confidence, employees, and prestige. The airline needs an investor like Tata Sons which already has stakes in two other airlines, has deep pockets as well as the expertise to maintain, turnaround and restructure the airline. They also have the service model which is similar to Jet Airways’ and the potential of a merger is much stronger here.”

Market experts are also not ruling out Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal from making a come back. “The ex-promoter himself could get a private equity player. Anyone who thinks Goyal has given up could be entirely wrong because he spent several years making the company. It would difficult for him to give it all up,” said Sameer Kalra, Founder, Target Investing.

Published on April 07, 2019

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