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Lessors ground 9 Jet Airways planes, cast doubts on carrier’s rescue plan

PW Bureau

India’s biggest full-service carrier by market share is grappling with financial woes since it owes money to banks, pilots, vendors and lessors New Delhi: Owing to doubts on whether a state-led Jet Airways bailout can clear their dues on time, overseas lessors have grounded more of the carrier’s aircraft before potentially moving them out of the country, sources said. India’s biggest full-service carrier by market share is grappling with financial woes since it owes money to banks, pilots, vendors and lessors. Jet’s financial woes Jet has also defaulted on payments of interest and principal instalment in December to a consortium of banks led by the State Bank of India (SBI) following it inability to raise Rs 1,500 crore short-term debt to meet its working capital requirement. “There’s some talk that the money is going to come but lessors have heard this for too long. We are not convinced about the restructuring plan. This is panning out just like Kingfisher. Banks took control but they never wanted to take a majority stake and run the airline,” a source said. Lessors ground 9 aircraft Lessors grounded nine of Jet’s planes, having grounded four of its Boeing 737 planes last month as part of its attempt to stay afloat. Sources added that BOC Aviation Ltd and AerCap Holdings NV were among those who have pulled out planes. However, Jet said only five planes had been grounded as a result of non-payment of dues to lessors, as reported to regulators.

“There’s some talk that the money is going to come but lessors have heard this for too long. We are not convinced about the restructuring plan. This is panning out just like Kingfisher"

“We are waiting to see what the workout plan has in terms of us getting paid. The situation is very dicey,” an executive at another lessor said. “We have to make sure our assets are protected. Indian government and speedy resolutions are not words we normally use in the same sentence.”