October 18, 2020 aviation

India's Jet Airways creditors agree to new owners after months of talks

India's Jet Airways would be acquired by an investor consortium under a multimillion-dollar resolution plan approved by the carrier's creditors on Saturday.

The plan submitted by a consortium of London-based Kalrock Capital and businessman Murari Lal Jalan, the chairman of Dubai-based property firm MJ Developers, comes after months of talks over the airline's future and was confirmed in a regulatory filing, which gave no details of the deal.

A source close to the situation said the new owners had agreed to pump in 10 billion rupees ($136 million) as working capital for the revival of the airline. Another 10bn rupees will be given to creditors over a period of five years.

Financial creditors of the airline will also get a 10 per cent stake in the company, the source said, although the plan remains subject to approvals from the bankruptcy court and the country's airline regulator.

Jet – which operated a fleet of more than 120 planes serving dozens of domestic destinations and international hubs such as Singapore, London and Dubai – was forced in April 2019 to ground all flights, crippled by mounting losses as it attempted to compete with low-cost rivals.

After Jet halted operations at least 280 slots were vacant in Mumbai and 160 in Delhi, which were then given to its rivals. The revival plan is also based on getting some of these slots back.

'The plan is to ramp up slowly and to increase capacity gradually as they will be starting afresh,' the source said. Any resumption of flights will likely not happen for between three and six months at least.

Since its operations were halted the airline and its lenders had been looking for suitors. Jet’s financial and operational creditors were owed nearly 300bn rupees after the operations were halted.


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