India's Jet Airways suspended operations Wednesday after the
State Bank of India informed the carrier that a consortium of lenders would not
provide the $ 218 million rescue package that the cash-strapped airline had
"Consequently, with immediate effect we are compelled
to cancel all our domestic and international flights. This decision has been
taken after painstaking evaluation of all alternatives and after receiving
guidance and advice on the same from the board of directors of Jet Airways, "
CEO Vinay Dube said in a statement.
Dube called the grounding to suspension and said that
essential staff needed to support customers and re-commence flying will be
retained until further notice.
Once India's second-largest carrier, Jet Airways was down to
operating just seven aircraft by Monday. The airline had been hurt in recent
years by rapid growth in India's discount airline sector.
A major loser from the carrier's apparent demise is Etihad,
which owned 24% of Jet Airways.