April 23, 2019
MUMBAI (Reuters) – India’s Jet Airways is constantly engaging with the government and lenders for a resolution of the current debt crisis and will not leave any stone unturned to revive the airline, its chief executive officer Vinay Dube told television channel ET Now in an interview.
Once India’s largest private airline, Jet halted all flight operations indefinitely last Wednesday evening after lenders led by State Bank of India declined to extend more funds to keep the carrier going.
“We are in constant touch with the lenders on how to get it (debt resolution) done in a manner that makes sense for them and makes sense for us,” Dube told ET Now.
“But I would like to think that a flying Jet Airways makes definite sense for them (banks) because it preserves their value as well. So we are not talking about anything that does not make good economic sense for the lenders, this is not charity for the sake of it”.
The company has requested banks for 10 billion rupees ($143.29 million), Dube said.
Earlier in the day, newspaper Business Standard reported that all shortlisted bidders for the company had backed out of the bidding process that is due to complete on May 10.
Dube, however, said he was hopeful of finding a keen, healthy investor who can inject the requisite amount of equity into the company.
The government plans to form a committee to temporarily allocate takeoff and landing slots left vacant by the grounding of Jet Airways flights, a senior official said last week.
Dube, however, said the government had assured the airlines this was a temporary move and the slots will be protected for the airline once they start flying again.
“While we have a combination of aircraft that are being deregistered or early terminated, the majority of them have not left the premise,” Dube said referring to the aircraft and said they will be available to the airline when it starts flying again.
“We understand the banks’ position. This is a financial proposition for them as well and we are in constant touch with them and we will be. For us there is no stone that we will leave unturned. We believe in Jet Airways, we will do whatever we can to make other people also believe in us.”
(Reporting by Swati Bhat; Editing by Rashmi Aich)