Air Travelers Hit Hard by Jet’s Crisis

Aviation

Indian travelers within India and especially from the UAE are hit hard as the Jet Airways crisis mount up, resulting in many of the Jet Airways’ flights getting cancelled.

The 25-year-old Jet, now reduced to a cash-strapped airline, is reeling under mounting debts of more than $1 billion.

– It has been forced to ground a total of 78 of its 119 aircraft after failing to pay lenders and aircraft lessors,

– The April 1 deadline given by the carrier’s pilots – who had been unpaid for more than three months – is approaching and passengers are facing more inconvenience.

Travel within India and towards India have become more expensive as supply has been adversely impacted with the cancellation. Jet Airways used to have great frequency of daily flights to different parts of India. That is becoming quickly a part of history.

The Jet Airways crisis has created a turbulent situation for travelers. Those who had booked their tickets on Jet in advance are left in a quandary. They are left with no choice but to check on other airlines. They may either claim for the refund or opt for alternative flights provided by the airline. Travelers are opting for alternative airlines by not taking any chances, even at the cost of cancellation and re-booking at premium air fares.

The first impact will be on the cost of re-booking on other airlines, which will be much higher than their original price, mainly due to sudden demand.

The airfares on other airlines have now moved up considerably. Jet’s competitors like Indigo are likely to benefit from this development.

With the looming possibility of a strike by pilots, the crisis is likely to accentuate from April 1. If the Jet Airways crisis is not resolved soon, the air passengers will be impacted, first in terms of seat availability and then in terms of price.

As the Indian aviation ministry officials made it clear that getting a new player for the airline is also on the cards, keeping the existing fleet/crew active on duty is highly essential for solving the debt crisis. This is especially critical considering the fact that existing minority holder Etihad has informed the State Bank of India-led banking consortium that it is ready to offload its entire stake to the banks even at discount in order to help the airline.

In the short term definitely we expect impact on the pricing but in the long run we think we will see market adjusting as there are already new capacity being introduced in the market through airlines like Go Air, Flydubai and Air Arabia. The new entrants must see an opportunity here to fill the void and capture the share.