Etihad-backed Jet Airways cancels Dubai flights

Jet Airways, the Indian airline part-owned by Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, on Thursday cancelled some of its flights from Dubai to Delhi and Mumbai, due to large-scale grounding of its aircrafts.

Three Jet flights departing Dubai – two to Delhi and one to Mumbai – are among the flights cancelled.

Jet Airways’ official spokesperson told Arabian Business that while some of these cancellations were pre-planned due to grounding of aircrafts and were intimated to guests in advance, one of the cancellations happened due to grounding its aircraft at Dubai due to technical issues.

“The 9W 545 Dubai-Delhi flights has been cancelled from 7 till 17 of this month, and from 18 till 31 will operate only one day in a week,” the Jet spokesman said.

Similarly, the 9W 507 Dubai-Delhi flight is scheduled to be cancelled from 11 till 17 and from 18 till 31 is scheduled to operate only once in a week.

“Today’s cancellation of this flight was not scheduled and could be due to technical issues”, the spokesperson added.

Travel industry sources said Jet Airways flights from South Indian airports such as Kochi, Hyderabad and Bangalore to Dubai have also been cancelled.

“The information charts on departure and arrival of international flights at airports in most of the South Indian cities such as Kochi, Bangalore and, Hyderabad have not listed any Jet Airways flight today,” Anil John, manager with Ebenezer Holiday, a Kochi-based leading travel and tour operator, told Arabian Business.

An Arabian Business reporter at Dubai International Airport on Thursday morning reported seeing large crowds of people shouting at Jet staff after a 5am flight was rescheduled to 3pm. Airport security and Dubai police were present at the scene.

Several passengers reported being at the airport for almost 12 hours because of previous Jet Airways cancellations and delays. Some passengers were being promised refunds due to the delays.

Besides grounding of 25 aircrafts due to payment defaults to its aircraft leasing companies, Jet Airways has also grounded several other flights – aviation industry sources put the number at 15 to 20 – due to engine related and other maintenance issues.

In December last year, Jet Airways had cancelled about 40 flights in a week connecting several destinations in the Gulf region and various Indian cities, citing realignment of flights through is hubs in Mumbai and Delhi due to route viability issues with these sectors.

The cancelled routes included Kochi-Doha, Abu Dhabi-Lucknow, Abu Dhabi-Mangalore and Mangalore-Dubai.

Etihad Airways bought a 24 percent stake in Jet Airways in 2013 and there has been continued speculation that the Abu Dhabi carrier will increase its ownership in order to help bail the cash-strapped Indian airline out of its financial difficulties.

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