Jet Airways crisis: Lenders likely to take final decision on the fate of grounded airline in next two weeks

Lenders are yet to receive a formal offer from the Hinduja Group, which had recently said it was evaluating the opportunity to invest in Jet Airways

FP Staff May 28, 2019 13:45:59 IST
Jet Airways crisis: Lenders likely to take final decision on the fate of grounded airline in next two weeks
  • Talks between Etihad, the Hinduja Group and London-based AdiGro Aviation to revive Jet Airways have entered a crucial phase

  • The grounded carrier shuttered its operations on 17 April and the lenders, led by SBI, are still scouting for investors to revive the airline

  • Jet’s troubles have allowed IndiGo and other carriers such as SpiceJet to raise prices on some routes

Lenders of Jet Airways, led by State Bank of India (SBI), are likely to take a final decision on the fate of the now-grounded airline in the next two weeks, a media report said.

According to Mint, lenders are yet to receive a formal offer from the Hinduja Group, which had recently said it was evaluating the opportunity to invest in the airline. The report added that lenders have agreed to take a significant haircut and any new investor is expected to seek anywhere between 80 percent to 90 percent haircut from the banks.

According to Moneycontrol, talks between Etihad Airways, the Hinduja Group, and London-based AdiGro Aviation to revive Jet Airways have entered a crucial phase. The report, citing sources, said lenders are now flexible while restructuring Jet Airways' over Rs 8,000 crore debt.

The grounded carrier shuttered its operations on 17 April and the lenders, led by SBI, are still scouting for investors to revive the airline, which has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,000 crore.

Jet Airways crisis Lenders likely to take final decision on the fate of grounded airline in next two weeks

Representational image. Reuters

The Hinduja Group reportedly received the approval of the major stakeholders of Jet Airways such as its founder Naresh Goyal and Etihad Airways to go ahead with the bidding process.

While the State Bank of India-led (SBI) lenders' consortium is still working on ways to revive the once-storied Jet Airways, the civil aviation ministry has already awarded the carrier's slots at various airports to other airlines on a temporary basis.

Jet Airways’ troubles have allowed IndiGo and other carriers such as SpiceJet to raise prices on some routes, offsetting some of the losses they faced last fiscal year because of high fuel prices and intense competition.

IndiGo’s passenger yield, a measure of airfares, rose 12 percent during the quarter. Interglobe Aviation Ltd, the owner of Indian budget airline IndiGo, forecast a strong year ahead after the collapse of Jet Airways Ltd helped the company report a five-fold jump in fourth-quarter profit.

The grounding of Jet Airways has also impacted the aviation industry's capacity by as much as about 14 percent, and this has resulted in a 4.2 percent fall in domestic air traffic to 10.99 million in April, according to a note by ICRA rating agency.

The domestic passenger traffic remained on an upswing between July 2013 and March 2019, after witnessing year-on-year de-growth in June 2013, the ratings agency said in the note last week.

The moderation in capacity, which started in February when the now-defunct Jet Airways began grounding its fleet in a staggered manner and, which eventually led to shuttering of operations around mid-last month, has also resulted in an increase of 30-40 percent in airfares in March as compared to September last year, ICRA said.

--With PTI inputs

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