The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLAT) Wednesday said it would hear a petition filed by a consortium of 26 banks, led by the State Bank of India, seeking recovery of over Rs 8,500 crore from Jet Airways on Thursday. The petition, filed under Section 7 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, comes after months of trying to sell the airline.
The debt-laden company, which began operations 25 years ago, grounded its jets on April 17. Its founder and chairman Naresh Goyal stepped down a month before in March in an effort to revive the company. Unpaid lessors have taken away most of Jet’s 100-odd aircraft.
A lawyer representing the Pilots Association & Engineers of Jet Airways Wednesday apprised the bench of their unpaid dues, reported PTI.
Few days ago, former chairman Naresh Goyal had said, “I feel sad and deeply distressed mainly for our loyal employees who have waited months and were anxiously and hopefully awaiting a positive outcome to the Bank Led Resolution Plan. I can only hope and pray that even now a solution can emerge and Jet can fly and fulfil the needs not only of employees but of air travellers who feel the absence of the Joy of Flying.”
Apart from the banks, Jet owes over Rs 10,000 crore to hundreds of vendors, primarily aircraft lessors, and nearly Rs 3,000 crore to its 23,000 employees whose salaries have not been paid since March. It has over Rs 36,500 crore of dues and being a services company negligible assets to recover.
While, the pilots and engineers unions want to be made party to the case, the representatives of two Dutch firms want the tribunal’s nod to make an intervention petition.
Meanwhile, a Dutch lawyer told the NCLAT that the Netherlands Insolvency Court (Nord Holland District Court) has already declared Jet Airways bankrupt, reported news agency ANI. The order had been passed on a petition filed by two European operational creditors with dues of around Rs 280 crore.
The NCLT tribunal comprising VP Singh and Ravikumar Duraisamy adjourned the matter to Thursday for when it will also hear these intervention applications.
Shares of the company plummeted over 29 per cent Wednesday and, at Rs 29.05 on the BSE, sunk to an all-time low. Its performance marked the 13th consecutive trading day fall. The airline company has had a negative net-worth and been running a loss of over Rs 13,000 crore over the past few years.
With agency inputs from ANI, PTI