Jet Airways is fighting a losing battle as it continues to nose dive laden with financial crisis. With salaries of 22,000 employees pending, the airline company sees a ray of hope in Tata Group’s Vistara planning to acquire 16 of its grounded jets.
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Reports state that Vistara is taking the debt-ridden company’s advantage to promote is own aviation business. It plans to acquire 10 Boeing 777 aircraft and three of Jet Airway’s single-aisle Boeing 737 planes, along with some Airbus A330 wide-body aircraft. Formal discussions for this is likely to begin soon. The Tata Group is keen to boost its fleet as it has seen potential in international flights to Europe and North America.
A banking executive says Jet Airways owes the US-based Export and Import Bank (EXIM) for its ten 777 jets. “After Jet was unable to pay the dues to the bank, it was going to repossess the planes, but lenders to Jet Airways wished to increase their collateral. They decided to pay the dues to EXIM Bank to own the planes. Most of the loan has been paid by Jet Airways. Banks will repay the remaining amount of Rs 400 crore to get control of Jet Airways’ aircraft. The value of the aircraft is much higher, thus increasing the collateral for the Indian lenders.”
Moreover, the founder of Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Naresh Goyal has offered to pump a much needed Rs 250 crore from his own pockets in a last attempt to revive the company. Goyal said he would invest the funds from Jetair Pvt. Ltd, a company which he controls. This latest attempt comes after they rejected a potential bid by him in April to retain control of the carrier citing non-eligibility conditions for an ongoing bidding process. In a letter to his employees, Goyal said they had made every possible sacrifice and commitment to ensure that the best interests of the Jet Airways family are served.
Meanwhile, a group of investors – Future Trend Capital Investments, Redcliffe Capital and Adi Partners have shown keen interest in salvaging the airline. Jason Unsworth, the founder of airline startup Atmosphere Intercontinental Airlines, had earlier written to Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube, making an offer to takeover the company. Presently, Jet Airways is run by a banking consortium (51 per cent) and owned by Goyal (24 per cent), Etihad (12 per cent) and the public-private shareholders (13 per cent).