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Jet Airways cuts inflight entertainment on all flights

The Independent logo The Independent 9/04/2019 Joanna Whitehead
a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited

In the latest wave of cutbacks, Jet Airways has switched off its inflight entertainment on all international and domestic routes.

A note on the company’s website reads: “Effective 1 April 2019, our free inflight entertainment service, JetScreen, will be temporarily unavailable on domestic and international flights.”

This includes journeys from London Heathrow to Mumbai and New Delhi, which take nine hours 10 minutes and eight hours 40 minutes respectively.

India’s oldest private airline is in debt to the tune of almost £1bn, according to recent reports.

Getty © Getty Getty

The entertainment cull follows recent cuts to inflight meals and lounge access, as well as the revision of change and cancellation fees on domestic flights.

The company is currently operating just 26 of its 123 aircraft, has defaulted on loan payments and failed to pay staff salaries, including pilots.

In recent weeks, the airline has cancelled a raft of flights, including all services between Manchester and Mumbai. The route was only introduced in November 2018. 

Last Friday, the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation refused to refuel the carrier’s aircraft for a number of hours, resulting in flights being grounded.

Getty © Getty Getty

Indian banks have now taken control of the waning airline, and are seeking a new owner with over a cool £100m to immediately invest in the company.

Reflecting the urgency of the crisis, a syndicate of banks, led by the State Bank of India, has given prospective bidders just two days to submit an expression of interest and commit to a 75 per cent stake in the ailing company.

Interested parties have until 6pm on Wednesday 10 April to come forward. 

The Independent has reached out to Jet Airways for comment.

In its last quarter, the airline flew just over seven million passengers but lost £80m.

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