Timeline: The Jet Airways story

Reuters BL Internet Desk | Updated on February 19, 2019 Published on November 26, 2018

Jet Airways has said that it is in talks with various investors to secure sustainable financing to tide over the ongoing stress in the company   -  REUTERS

Jet Airways Ltd, the biggest full-service carrier in India, has been under dark clouds for the past few months. While intense pricing competition, weak rupee and rising fuel costs have hurt Indian airlines like IndiGo owned by InterGlobe Aviation Ltd and SpiceJet Ltd, Jet Airways is in a league of its own.

Saddled with a debt of about Rs 8,052 crore ($1.14 billion) as of September 30, Jet Airways is desperately searching for a deal that could help mitigate its severe liquidity crunch. The airline has a market capitalisation of Rs 3,503 crore as of last close. The Tata conglomerate is now likely to be the potential white knight for the debt-laden company, but no proposal has been made yet. Here's how the story unfolded:

  • May 3: Jet Airways shares fall 12.3 per cent after InterGlobe Aviation reported a slump in net profit for March-quarter a day earlier
  • May 23: Posts first quarterly loss in at least 12 quarters, says it has a negative net worth that “may create uncertainties”
  • Aug 1: Media report says Jet asked employees to take an up to 25 per cent cut in salaries as a part of a cost cutting measure
  • Aug 3: Jet denies report that it cannot fly beyond 60 days, and dismisses conjecture of stake sale
  • Aug 9: Airline defers board meet for first-quarter results after State Bank of India chairman says the airline’s loan is on the bank’s watchlist; Jet says it is regular in payment obligations to all banks
  • Aug 13: Airline reaffirms that it is considering various options to meet its funding requirements
  • Aug 15: Report says US private equity firm Blackstone Group LP is in talks to buy a stake in Jet's frequent-flier loyalty programme JetPrivilege
  • Aug 20: Sources tell Reuters that private equity firm TPG Capital is considering investing in Jet, but is not close to finalising a deal
  • Aug 27: Jet posts loss for the June-quarter, says it will inject funds and cut costs by more than 20 billion rupees in two years
  • Sept 4: Government plans relief package for airlines
  • Sept 6: Jet says it paid salaries to 84 per cent of its employees after reports emerge that pilots warned ‘non-cooperation’ over salary default
  • Sept 20: Income Tax department conducts survey at Jet’s premises
  • Over two dozen passengers on a Jet flight are treated for minor injuries after the plane loses cabin pressure
  • Oct 4: Rating agency ICRA downgrades the company's long term loans and NCDs, citing impact of steep increase in jet fuel prices, rupee depreciation, delay in implementation of liquidity initiatives
  • Oct 18: Report says Indian conglomerate Tata Group is in talks to buy stake in Jet. Jet calls report “speculative”
  • Oct 30: US-based Delta Air Lines Inc expresses interest to buy Jet stake from promoter Naresh Goyal and Etihad Airways
  • Nov 5 Report says Tata aims to buy the 51 per cent stake in the airline owned by Naresh Goyal, and Etihad Airways’ 24 per cent stake, and merge Jet with Vistara
  • Nov 12 Jet posts third straight quarterly loss, chief executive officer Vinay Dube expresses confidence in overcoming current challenges
  • Nov 13 Tata Sons begins due diligence to buy Jet, reports say; Jet executive says company is in talks with multiple parties for a stake sale in its loyalty program, and equity infusion in the airline
  • Nov 15 Shares surge nearly 25 percent following reports that the debt-laden airline was nearing a rescue deal with Tata Sons; another report says the Indian government asked Tata to explore buying Jet
  • Nov 16 Tata Sons says discussions on Jet is preliminary and no proposal has been made
  • Nov 20 Tata Sons may go slow on Jet deal after some directors from Tata's board expressed concerns, according to media reports
  • Nov 21 - The airline says news on Naresh Goyal, Etihad discussing merger of JetPrivilege with Jet Airways is speculative
  • Nov 22 - Independent director Ranjan Mathai resigns, citing rising pressure from other commitments
  • Nov 26 - Report says Naresh Goyal may hand over Jet Airways operations to Etihad Airways
  • Dec 1 - Robin Kamark, responsible for Etihad Aviation Group’s minority equity investment strategy, joins the Jet Board. He replaced Harish Mohan in a move that market experts said could indicate the possibility of a fresh equity infusion by Etihad into the cash-strapped airline
  • Dec 2 - Announces withdrawal of flight services from seven Gulf countries
  • Dec 3 - Cancels flights due to pilots strike over non-payment of salaries
  • Dec 8 - ICRA downgrades Jet Airways ratings
  • Dec 14 - SBI asks EY to carry out forensic audit of Jet Air accounts from 2014-18
  • Dec 21 - Board agrees on additional fund raising during the board meeting
  • Jan 8 - Bankers and lenders asks the company to deliver on certain milestones based on which further action will be taken
  • Jan 17 - SBI announces lenders are considering a resolution plan for Jet Airways to ensure long-term viability of the debt-laden company. Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal said he is ready to infuse Rs 700 crore in th company if he is allowed to retain at least 25 percent stake in the airline
  • Jan 29 - Grounds 3 more planes on lease rental default
  • Feb 3 - Changes its ticket distribution strategy as part of cost-cutting plan. It also ended partnership with one of the largest global air ticket reservation data provider and Global Distribution System (GDS) company, Amadeus
  • Feb 7 - Mops ₹ 250 crore from advance sale of tickets to its customer loyalty programme Jet Privilege, less than five months after raising money through the same route. Pilots also refuses to take up any on-ground duty following the management ‘forcing’ some pilots to either perform ‘office’ duties or go on leave. The National Aviators Guild (NAG), the union body representing Jet Airways pilots, has issued a directive to its member to not accept office duties.
  • Feb 8 - Four more aircraft grounded due to non-payment
  • Feb 14 - Reports a standalone net loss of Rs 587.77 crore for Q3. Board approves a bank-led provisional resolution plan. Under this plan, the SBI-led lenders will convert the debt into 11.4 crore shares for just ₹1. With that, the lenders will become the largest shareholders in the company, with a stake of about 50 per cent

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Published on November 26, 2018
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