International Airfares Soar As Jet Airways Wobbles

For the past two months, Joel Fernandes had been counting days to a leave on Scottish holiday this summer. They had bought Mumbai-London-Mumbai tickets on Jet Airways and were supposed to leave on Monday. But now with the flight cancelled, Fernandes is wondering what to do as he had paid for the stay, internal travel and made other bookings in UK. “Jet is not responding. If nothing works out, may have to cancel this ticket and buy a new one at exorbitant spot fare,” Fernandes (name changed on request) said.

This couple is not alone. There are thousands of people supposed to fly on Jet’s international tickets. While the airline has so far said it is not operating international flights till Monday, a question mark hangs on its survival. Jet’s three slots at London Heathrow have been returned to estranged partner Etihad. With UK hosting the ICC world cup this summer and expecting a surge in travel from cricket-crazed India, the cancellation of UK flights could not have come at a worse time.

“Air France and KLM are trying to accommodate Jet’s passengers of its own cancelled flights to Amsterdam and Paris. Etihad may or may not accept our passengers. While some clarity in the airline’s future may emerge on Monday, passengers like Fernandes couple who are leaving early next week may consider cancelling Jet tickets, seeking a refund and buy new tickets on other airlines,” said a Jet official. Read more

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