Amid an unprecedented crisis in Jet Airways, airfares in India are continuously skyrocketing ever since the cash-strapped airline suspended its domestic and international flights. Due to the ongoing crisis in the financially troubled carrier, competitiors are cashing in on the opportunity to hike fares, which has invited more trouble for the commuters.
On Monday morning, tickets from Mumbai to Delhi were being sold online for fares as high as Rs 32,000 for a single journey. Similar airfares were seen on websites for an entire week. Bipin Singh, a frequent traveler, told he had to pay a heavy fare for traveling today from Mumbai to Delhi by GoAir. "I booked a ticket from Mumbai to Delhi today morning for over Rs 25,000. There was chaos at the Mumbai airport due to the suspension of Jet Airways flights," he said. Jet Airways is operating just 6-7 planes, with almost its entire fleet being grounded due to non-payment of rentals to lessors amid severe paucity of cash.
Saddled with more than Rs 8,000 crore of debt, Jet is struggling even to pay salaries as it defaulted on payments to banks and aircraft lessors some of whom have reportedly begun to terminate lease deals. The aviation sector employs close to 10 lakh people. The pilots along with engineers and senior management have not received salaries since January. The debt-ridden carrier has also not paid March salary to employees of other categories as well. Jet Airways is at present under the management control of SBI-led consortium of lenders after the approval of a debt-rejig plan last month, which also led its founder chairman Naresh Goyal to quit.