Jet Airways defaults on interest payment to debenture holders

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2019 Published on March 18, 2019

File photo   -  REUTERS

The airline did not specify what the quantum of interest due Tuesday nor quantum of the debt on this particular account

Jet Airways has defaulted payment of interest to its debenture holders even as lessors grounded four more aircraft of the airline.

On Monday, in a filing on BSE, the debt-strapped airline said that it had interest payment due on March 19 towards the debenture holder, however, the payment “will be delayed owing to temporary liquidity constraints.” The airline has in the past two months informed the BSE 11 times of grounding of aircraft by lessors on account of non-payment of dues.

The airline has been debt-strapped for the part three quarters and has a gross loan of ₹8,400 crore with State Bank of India being the lead banker. On March 14, BusinessLine had reported that Jet Airways had defaulted on a tranche payment of $31 million to HSBC that was due on March 11.

The full-service carrier owes $140 million in total to HSBC which they had borrowed in March 2014, as External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) for five years. According to the agreement, the airline had to repay the dues in two tranches. Tranche A worth $31 million was due on March 11 and tranche B worth $109 million is due on March 28.

BusinessLine had reported earlier this week that according to a proposed MoU, Jet would have to pledge 15 per cent of the total share capital of Jet Privilege Pvt Ltd in favour of HSBC as primary/first lien security for the $150-million facility (current outstanding of approximately $140 million) extended by HSBC to Jet Airways under the terms of the 2014 agreement.

Interim financing

Along with this, ₹750 crore in interim financing by Etihad and another ₹750 crore by lenders will be put in as interim funding.

According to sources close to the development, a 34.9 per cent stake in Jet Privilege is likely be pledged equally to Etihad and the lenders to secure the interim funding.

However, according to sources, the proposed MoU might not be signed at all due to discrepancies between Etihad and Jet Airways. In this case, it seems like the airline might default on the payment due on March 28 as well.

Published on March 18, 2019
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