Companies

Jet Airways bid winners seek nod to discuss restoration of airport slots

Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2021

NCLT Bench seeks Ministry’s response

Jet Airways’ winning bidder, a consortium consisting of Murari Lal Jalan and Kalrock Capital, on Wednesday sought the National Company Law Tribunal’s (NCLT) permission to enter into discussions with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on restoring airport slots of the airline.

On Wednesday, the Mumbai bench of the tribunal sought the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s (MOCA) response on the issue of slots that had been sought by the winning bidders of Jet Airways, which would be key to restarting operations of the airline.

Ravi Kadam, appearing on behalf of the winning consortium, said the slots were an imperative part of the resolution plan, and without them, the plan would be pointless.

‘Start afresh’

In March, both the DGCA and the MoCA had informed the court that the consortium will have to apply afresh for airport slots that were taken away from the airline when it was grounded in April 2019.

The authorities’ lawyers had also then said that no slots were immediately available which could be assigned to the airline.

The two-judge Bench headed by Janab Mohammed Ajmal and V. Nallasenapathy also said that while the NCLT cannot give directions regarding the slots, it is open to related parties— MoCA, DGCA, Ashish Chhawchharia, the lenders-appointed resolution professionals assigned for the revival of Jet Airways and the winning consortium — to negotiate on the issues related to the slots.

The NCLT will hear the case next on April 5.

The consortium’s lawyers had submitted an affidavit on the slots issue. Lawyers representing the DGCA have now sought time from the NCLT to deal with the affidavit. Lawyers representing the Jalan-Kalrock consortium, meanwhile, argued that the principle of historicity should be applied, and the airline should be given a preference in allocation of the slots.

The winning bid for Jet Airways submitted by Jalan-Kalrock is currently before the bankruptcy court for approval.

Published on March 24, 2021

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