04/12/2018 10:18 AM IST | Updated 04/12/2018 10:18 AM IST

Cash-Crunched Jet Airways To Stop Free Meals For Most Domestic Economy Passengers

Jet Airways is struggling to stay afloat as it competes with low-cost carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters
Representative image.

Cash-crunched Jet Airways has decided to stop providing complimentary meals for domestic economy class passengers travelling under two fare categories. The debt-ridden airlines is aiming to trim costs and boost revenues.

The revision in fare offerings will be effective for tickets booked from 21 December, for travel starting 7 January, Jet Airways said in a release Monday.

The carrier currently offers five fare options in the economy class — light, deal, saver, classic and flex — for customers booking flights on domestic routes.

"In addition to the light and deal categories introduced earlier, Jet Airways will offer two more categories under economy travel saver and classic," Jet Airways said in a release.

The latest revision in complimentary meals would be availably only for economy passengers who booked their tickets under the flex option, the release said.

Passengers will have the option of buying meals on onboard. "(The move) reflects the fast-evolving nature of Indian aviation, where an increasing number of guests want the freedom and flexibility to make their own travel choices," Jet Airways said, according to Reuters.

The airline will continue to offer complimentary meals across saver and classic fare options to those passengers who have made bookings prior to 21 December, it said.

The airlines is aiming to cut costs and savings of over Rs 2,000 crore over the next two years through strategic initiatives, chief executive officer Vinay Dube had said after the second quarter earnings.

Amid cash paucity, it has been defaulting on salary payments to its senior management, pilots and engineers.

Several of its flights were cancelled on Monday after some of its pilots reported "sick" over non-payment of their dues.

Jet Airways is struggling to stay afloat, according to Reuters, as it competes with low-cost carriers like InterGlobe Aviation Ltd's IndiGo and SpiceJet Ltd..

Domestic carriers grapple with high fuel cost, competition

Domestic carriers are grappling with high jet fuel and cut-throat competition. They are estimated to require a massive capital infusion of around Rs 350 billion over the next 3-4 years, rating agency Icra had said last month.

All three listed airlines — Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet — are currently in red. These three have reported a combined net loss of Rs 36.4 billion in the first half of the fiscal, Kinjal Shah, vice president and co-head for corporate sector ratings, ICRA told PTI.

(With PTI inputs)