Companies

Eyeing turnaround, Jet in talks with banks for ‘financial rejig’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on March 13, 2018

Good days ahead Naresh Goyal (centre), Chairman, Jet Airways, with James Hogan, President and CEO, EtihadAirways, and Cramer Ball, Chief Executive-Designate, Jet Airways, at a press conference in the Capital onWednesday. RAMESH SHARMA

Chairman says airline finalising new product; hopes to return to profitability by 2017



Jet Airways (India) Ltd is undertaking a restructuring process which it hopes will help it return to profitability by 2017.

The last time the airline posted a full year profit was in 2010-11, at ₹9.69 crore.

Jet is looking to “restructure all our financials in the balance sheet. We are working with our partners and bankers,” Chairman Naresh Goyal said, without getting into the specifics.

Poor financial performance

The airline reported a loss of ₹4,130 crore during 2013-14, which is more than five times its loss in 2012-13.

From 2007-08 when Jet started declaring its consolidated annual results, it has not posted a full year consolidated annual profit.

Chairman Goyal said the airline, which is part-owned by the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, is also in the process of finalising its new product. “We will soon announce it,” he said, without giving details about the product.

Cramer Ball, Jet’s Chief Executive-Designate, told reporters the airline will look at its fleet and at any surplus aircraft that could be sold or returned.

In this context, he also mentioned how a Jet aircraft was flying from Delhi to Abu Dhabi and then onwards to San Francisco.

Expansion

Ball also announced that by the end of the year, Goa, Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Pune will be added to the six Indian destinations from where Jet already operates direct flights to Abu Dhabi.

The carrier will expand to Ho Chi Min City in November this year and plans for Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Yangon (Myanmar) and Seychelles are on the cards. Jet is looking at more non-stop flights from India through points in Europe, Asia and Australia, he added.

Cargo is another major opportunity for the carrier, said Ball, adding the airline is looking at new cargo routes, including those to New York and Paris.

James Hogan, Etihad’s CEO and President, said no market is more important to the airline than India.

The airline is a long-term investor in Jet, he added. Etihad has a stake in seven global airlines, including Air Berlin, Aer Lingus, Virgin Australia and Air Seychelles, apart from Jet Airways.

Asked whether Etihad would have invested in Jet if India and Abu Dhabi had not agreed to an air services agreement, Hogan said: “The Jet deal has gone through. We have worked through the appropriate process. From day one, it was important that we follow the process laid down by the Government.”

He added: “As a minority investor and also being the first (foreign) airline to invest in an Indian carrier, we were very clear that we had to ensure that we take all the appropriate regulatory and Government clearances, and, of course, those are wrapped around by the air services agreement.”

Bilateral pact

A day before Etihad acquired a stake in Jet, India and Abu Dhabi exchanged an air services bilateral agreement, which saw the number of seats offered by airlines from each country jump to 50,000 in a phased manner.

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Published on July 23, 2014
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