Dubai flight grounded after pilot calls in sick
Mangalore flight scrapped at 11th hour after no replacement available
A Jet Airways flight to Dubai was cancelled at the last minute on Wednesday evening after the pilot reportedly called in sick.
According to the Times of India, take off of the 20:00 service from the Indian city of Mangalore was postponed until Thursday evening as a replacement pilot was not immediately available.
The newspaper said that the carrier was forced to arrange for the transfer of staff from Mumbai to ensure the flight was able to depart at 19:30 today. Affected passengers were accommodated in near-by hotels, it was reported.
Jet Airways, India’s second largest airline by number of passengers carried, is currently in talks with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways over the possible sale of an equity stake.
Any deal could see Etihad take a 24 percent shareholding for up to US$330m, Indian media reported earlier this month.
Etihad has been in talks with both Jet and Kingfisher Airlines in recent months, but given the latter's compromised financial status, Jet is favourite for a deal which could amount to between INR1,500 crore to INR1,800 crore (US$280m to US$330m).
An Indian aviation ministry source told financial paper Business Standard that although Etihad is yet to make its decision, Jet is clear frontrunner for the deal which would mean a fresh injection of capital to help cut its debt, which stood at US$600m in November last year.