India's Jet Airways faces imminent shutdown without emergency funds

17 Avril, 2019, 18:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Jet Airways,Vijay Malyya,Naresh Goyal

"Meanwhile the Company is awaiting emergency liquidity support from the consortium of the domestic lenders led by State Bank of India", Jet Airways said in a regulatory filing last night. "The last flight will operate today", it said, adding that the decision would take "immediate effect".

It also noted that operations have been severely impacted and added that its leadership "is engaged with lenders in connection with the said emergency funding request to arrest further deterioration of its services and minimize inconvenience to its guests". "This has been a very hard decision but without interim funding, the airline is simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of its guests, employees, partners and service providers", Jet said in the statement.

Jet Airways on Wednesday announced temporary suspension of all its global and domestic flights, with the last flight slated to operate between Amritsar and Mumbai tonight.

The assurance from the government came on a day when Jet Airways wrote to the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministries of Finance and Civil Aviation and the Chief Minister of Maharashtra stating that it needed an urgent induction of funds, without which it will not be able to continue flying.

But the immediate worry is the lack of funds to keep the company afloat.

TPG declined to comment, while the other three did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

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Jet, which has around US$1.2 billion in bank debt, has been teetering for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about US$217 million as part of a rescue deal in late March.

The SBI-led consortium is looking for a buyer for Jet and a deadline passed on Friday for prospective bidders to express an interest in acquiring a 75% stake in the carrier.

Jet will be forced to shut down as soon as Wednesday if it does not get emergency funding from its lenders, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Naresh Goyal quits as Jet Airways chairman, stake slashed to 25%. "Why don't Banks take the money I offered first?" SBI Capital Markets, which has the mandate for the stake sale on behalf of the SBI-led consortium, is now vetting the initial bids received and as per reports the shortlisted investors will be given time till May 10 to submit binding bids.

The company had more than 16,000 employees on its payroll - and a number of staffers across various roles started jumping ship over the past few weeks, joining rival airlines in the domestic as well as the worldwide circuit. Many airlines are in talks with lessors of Jet's repossessed planes. More than two dozen Jet-operated planes have been de-registered this month, and Jet has been forced to ground dozens more over unpaid dues.

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