The embattled airline said it was halting all operations after lenders rejected its plea for emergency funds.

Saddled with more than $1.2 billion of bank debt, Jet Airways is fighting for survival as it also owes money to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies.
Saddled with more than $1.2 billion of bank debt, Jet Airways is fighting for survival as it also owes money to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies. (Reuters Archive)

Jet Airways, once India's largest airline, announced on Wednesday that it was suspending all operations after failing to raise enough money to run its services.

The company said it has been informed by its lenders, led by state-run State Bank of India, that they are unable to consider its request for funding to keep flying.

"Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going," it said in a statement.

"It has decided to go ahead with a temporary suspension of operations," the airline said.

Its last flight was scheduled to fly to New Delhi from the northern Indian city of Amritsar on Wednesday night.

On Tuesday, former chairman Naresh Goyal reportedly withdrew plans to bid for a controlling stake in the company. Goyal founded Jet Airways in 1992 and saw it soar to become India's largest airline.

It was not immediately clear who else might bid for the company. Etihad Aviation Group purchased a 24 percent stake in 2013.

The airline had 119 planes on December 31, when it first defaulted on some of its more than $1 billion in debt.

This week, it reduced its operations to only seven aircraft flying domestic routes.

The airline reported a net loss in the quarter that ended in December of 5.8 billion rupees, about $83 million. Jet Airways pilots complained that they had not received a salary in four months.

The New Delhi Television news channel said 20,000 jobs at the airline were at stake.

Source: AP