Logistics

Grounded Jet Air gets no suitors as deadline for bid submission expires

Forum Gandhi Mumbai | Updated on March 09, 2020 Published on March 09, 2020

File photo   -  AFP

Lenders to meet this week to decide on liquidating the company

Jet Airways will not fly again as none of the three suitors, which had expressed interest in the grounded Jet Airways, submitted a resolution plan. The deadline for bid submission closed on Monday.

Jet grounded its operations in April last year and is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings at the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), Mumbai. It was dragged there by its debtors led by State Bank of India over unpaid dues.

Advisory firm Grant Thornton India’s Ashish Chhawchharia was appointed as the Resolution Professional (RP) by Jet’s lenders.

A consortium of the Russian government-backed Far East Development Fund, in partnership with Enso Group, Prudent ARC and Synergy Group had submitted their Expression of Interest (EoI) with the resolution professional last month for the third time.

No resolution plan

While the resolution professional remained unavailable to comment, a person in the know said that no resolution plan was received before the deadline.

“The Committee of Creditors (CoC) are not keen of liquidating the airline’s assets as there are not much left anyway. The CoC will meet during the course of the week to decide the way forward for the airline,” the source said.

After the 180-day period had ended, it was given an extension of up to 270 days which will be over on March 15. The next hearing of the insolvency proceedings is on March 18.

According to the recent most creditors’ document on the airline’s website, claims worth over ₹36,090 crore against Jet Airways have been received so far, of which the RP has so far admitted claims worth around ₹14,640 crore.

SBI is the lead lender to the debt-strapped Jet.

Vishesh Chandiok, CEO, Grant Thornton India, said: “I had told the employees of Jet not to lose hope and I will tell them if I felt there was no hope. I feel we are now at a stage where there is no clarity on the way forward, and therefore there is little hope left. It’s a great brand and will be good for everyone if Jet was to fly again, but we are in a fix between what the bidders are expecting and what we can offer on flying slots. It’s a personal failure on our behalf as our job is to find a resolution, hence, the apology that we will likely fail to do so. Really proud that our team is continuing to try to pull off what will be nothing short of a miracle.”

At its peak, the airline had 22,000 employees, including 6,000 on contract. According to company sources, the company still has over 5,500 employees on its payroll.

Meanwhile, the Enforcement Directorate has detained former chairman and promoter of defunct Jet Airways, Naresh Goyal after long hours of questioning at its Ballard Estate office on March 4.

 

 

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Published on March 09, 2020
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