Jet Airways could ‘suspend’ operations as ex-chairman Naresh Goyal opts out of biddinghttps://indianexpress.com/article/business/ex-chairman-naresh-goyal-opts-bidding-stake-jet-airways-5678304/

Jet Airways could ‘suspend’ operations as ex-chairman Naresh Goyal opts out of bidding

The full-service carrier, which is currently operating less than 10 aircraft, is awaiting fresh fund infusion under a debt resolution plan.

Jet Airways ex-chairman Naresh Goyal (Source: Reuters)

The Jet Airways management proposed to suspend all operations of the debt-laden airline at its board meeting on Tuesday, an ET Now report said citing sources. The proposal, if approved, would likely result in job losses of over 17,000 employees.

The meeting of the airline’s management comes after a promise of an infusion of Rs 1,500 crore by the lenders who own a controlling stake in the airline. While Rs 1,500 crore is a small dose of funds for the airline, which has debt and payables exceeding Rs 10,000 crore, the money was deemed necessary for Jet’s daily operations, which have already been curtailed due to non-payment of rentals to aircraft lessors. What was once a 123-aircraft fleet has now been reduced to a meagre seven-plane operation.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has decided not to bid for acquiring stake in the cash-strapped airline, sources told PTI.

The full-service carrier, which is currently operating less than 10 aircraft, is awaiting fresh fund infusion under a debt resolution plan.

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Airline sources told PTI that Goyal, who had stepped down as chairman of the carrier last month, has withdrawn the bid for the airline.

On April 12, sources said that Goyal had also put in bid for the carrier. SBI Capital Markets has the mandate for Jet Airways’ sale on behalf of the SBI-led consortium of the domestic lenders to the debt-ridden private carrier.

Last month, Goyal and his wife Anita Goyal stepped down from the board of the airline, which has more than Rs 8,000 crore debt.

Jet Airways shares were down as much as 18.53 percent, their worst session since August 2015.

On Monday, the airline in a letter to its employees said it planned to extend its suspension of international flights until Thursday as it had not received any interim funding from lenders.

Jet has been grounding planes in recent weeks as lessors move to de-register and take back their aircraft, even as the company’s lenders sought expressions of interest in the carrier from potential investors.

(with inputs from Reuters, PTI)