Crucial Monday: Jet management to push lenders for interim funds

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on April 14, 2019 Published on April 14, 2019

Jet’s pilots will gather at the airline’s head office on Monday to seek clarity on their salary dues

Outcome of meet will decide whether or not pilots stop work

The Jet Airways management will meet lenders led by the SBI on Monday to push for the immediate release of interim funding to keep the company afloat. Based on the outcome of this meeting, nearly 1,000 Jet pilots will decide whether or not to strike work.

On a Monday that’s going to be crucial for Jet, its lenders will also seek a legal opinion on promoter Naresh Goyal’s bid to re-take control of the debt-ridden airline. Goyal was the last to put in his Expression of Interest (EoI), minutes before the deadline ended on Friday.

Bidding for the airline

While the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code clearly bars defaulting promoters from bidding for the assets on sale, ‘the bidding process for Jet Airways is not being done under the IBC code’, said sources. Nevertheless, the lenders want to be sure that Goyal’s bid can be accepted.

However, a source close to one of the bidders said: “Some of the other bidders such as Etihad may not be comfortable if Goyal is in the fray. This raises serious doubts about the entire process.”

According to sources, the lenders may release an interim funding to ease the financial pressure on the airline. While they have received about seven EoIs from potential bidders, a new investor will be finalised only by June.

While the airline has already shut down most of its international routes, its domestic operations will also come to a halt if the pilots decide not to fly.

Jet’s pilots body, the National Aviators’ Guild (NAG), said on Sunday: “In the light of the meeting, the members have requested... that the call of No Pay No Work be deferred to give the airline a chance of survival.” The pilots will gather at the airline’s headquarters on Monday to seek clarity on their salary dues.

“We have patiently waited for our salaries for over three months now,. However, no salary transfer has happened so far. It’s high time the management took us seriously,” said an NAG spokesperson.

More operations halted

The airline on Sunday said it has suspended operations to SAARC and ASEAN destinations, as well as to and from Toronto and Paris, from Chennai. The airline has also cancelled its long-haul, West-bound operations to and from Amsterdam, London Heathrow and Paris until Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Rajeshri Pathy has resigned as an independent director of Jet.

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Published on April 14, 2019
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