Banks Working On Jet Airways’ Turnaround Through Change In Management
Lenders of the beleaguered Jet Airways (India) Ltd. are working on a revival plan through a change in airline’s management, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity.
The Naresh Goyal-led carrier is flying about a third of its fleet as non-payment of dues to lessors has resulted in grounding of several aircraft.
Rajnish Kumar, chairman of State Bank of India—the lead lender to the cash-strapped airline—along with Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister, met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today to apprise him of the decision regarding revival of the airline.
“Resolution plan was almost ready but because of certain issues there is some delay,” Kumar told reporters after the meeting. “We need a little bit more time.”
SBI is working on an alternative resolution plan for Jet Airways after talks with Etihad Airways PJSC remained inconclusive, BloombergQuint earlier reported. India’s largest lender, in a meeting with the lending consortium on Tuesday, said Etihad Airways raised several concerns regarding the draft resolution plan that bankers had prepared earlier this month.
“Our interest is in Jet Airways, not the promoters, our interest is not with any other partner...but the dialogue with Etihad...is on, it is not that they have conclusively decided that they will go out,” Kumar said, adding that there are certain conditions which Etihad wants to be fulfilled like the airline should be professionally managed without any interference.
Bankers are trying to protect the interest of both creditors and consumers, so that former do not end up taking a haircut on their loans, and the latter do not have to bear the burden of high airfares, the government official quoted earlier said.
“The lenders are making every effort to keep the airline running in the interest of the aviation sector, and the interest of the country,” Kumar said.