India’s Jet Airways extends international flight suspension
Airline has failed to receive interim funding from lenders amid bank debt of €1 billion
India’s Jet Airways pilots gather at its head office in Mumbai on Monday, seeking answers. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/AFP
Jet Airways plans to extend its suspension of international flights until Thursday having not received any interim funding from lenders, the company has told employees.
The airline, saddled with some $1.2 billion (€1.06 billion) of bank debt, has been struggling after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about $217 million (€192 million) from its lenders as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March.
In the staff letter, chief executive Vinay Dube said: “The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, and as a result of this we have extended cancellation of international operations through Thursday, April 19th.”
Mr Dube said management would update the airline’s board on the matter at a meeting scheduled for Tuesday and would seek guidance on the next steps forward.
Jet, which also owes vast sums to lessors, suppliers, pilots and oil companies, has been losing planes in recent weeks as lessors scramble to de-register and take back their aircraft, even as Jet’s lenders have sought expressions of interest in the carrier from potential investors.
Lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI), want a new investor to buy a stake of up to 75 per cent in Jet and initial expressions of interest were submitted last week.
Local media have reported that as many as six parties have submitted expressions of interest, though it is still far from clear if an acceptable bid will materialise.