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‘Cheque is ready’: AdiGro Aviation still has its eyes set on Jet Airways

AdiGroup founder Sanjay Viswanathan said that even as the group is very much interested in investing in the Indian airline, they can’t do it alone
New Delhi: Even as Jet Airways’ other big investors seem to have developed cold feet about investing in the debt-ridden airline, AdiGro Aviation has gone on record to say that it continues to be interested and is waiting to hear from Etihad with whom it was in talks. A part of the London-based group had earlier offered to invest Rs 2,500 crore for 24.9 percent stake in Jet Airways, along with Hinduja Group and Etihad, to revive the airline.

‘If Etihad backs out, AdiGro would reach out to other investors’

AdiGroup founder Sanjay Viswanathan said that even as the group is very much interested in investing in the Indian airline, they can’t do it alone. “We need an operator to operationally turn around the company,” he said. Noting that Etihad is the linchpin in the present situation, Viswanathan said that if Etihad did not get involved, AdiGro would explore opportunities with other operators. “There are three operators who are willing to partner us,” he said.

‘My cheque is ready’

While stressing that time is of essence, Viswanathan said, “My cheque is ready. I am happy if the banks take even 75 percent haircut, instead of 85-90 percent.” One of the biggest issues for the beleaguered airline as of now is that two of its operational creditors have approached the National Company Law Tribunal to recover dues. The tribunal is slated to hear the petition on Thursday and its decision to submit the appeal or not will have an impact on the bidding process.

‘Enable 100% FDI in aviation sector’

In a mail addressed to Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, Viswanathan argued for increasing investment in the Indian aviation sector, which needs $100 billion by 2024 to add capacity. He also asked for three “key incentives” to spur growth in the sector — enable FDI to 100 percent from the present 49 percent, enable debt restructuring to enable new investors in Jet Airways and Air India, and reduce tax on ATF by bringing it under GST.