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 requested.     

"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 a 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.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI