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The official said the airline has suspended its global operations till Monday.

The airline has mentioned that refunds for cancellations are now being processed. Since February, lessors have grounded close to 90 aircraft over non-payment of dues, forcing closure of the airline's operations in eastern and northeastern regions of the country.

Some local media outlets claim that the airline is now operating only 14 of its 100 planes, taking it below the 20-aircraft minimum that carriers in India are required to maintain if they wish to run worldwide services, the BBC reported.

Singapore flights of Jet Airways have also been indefinitely suspended amid the ongoing cash crunch and lack of money to pay dues to the aircraft lessors, Singapore's Changi Airport said in a tweet.

The bidding norms allow Naresh Goyal to participate in the sale process.

The vast majority of flights with Jet Airways are now shown as "cancelled" or "non-operational". The airline said its Mumbai-Calcutta, Calcutta-Guwahati and Dehradun-Guwahati flights via Calcutta stand cancelled for Friday.

SBI Caps, on behalf of the lenders, had issued the expressions of interest on April 8, and had Wednesday extended the deadline for submission of initial bids by two days to April 12.The lenders are offering a minimum of 32.1 percent and a maximum of 75 percent equity in the carrier to any investor either individually or in consortium.

The airline, saddled with more than $1bn (£765m) in debt, is seeking a financial lifeline to avoid collapse.

India would be reluctant to let Singapore Airlines, for instance, increase its services as this would reduce the influence of Indian carriers in the market, the experts said. A regulatory filing says Goyal has pledged 26 per cent stake in the ailing airline as security for loans from Punjab National Bank.

According to media reports, the company has not given the salary of last three months to pilots, aircraft maintenance engineers and senior management, the pilots and AMEs have threatened to go on work strike from 15 April if their salaries are not cleared, recently jet airways cleared 87% of the salary for the month of December to its employees. Cancellations have disrupted millions of travellers over the past few months.

Without Jet Airways, the reduced competition could result in higher fares between Singapore and India, experts said.