Mumbai: After a day-long drama at the Jet Airways’ Siroya Centre in Mumbai, the fate of the much-needed capital infusion still hangs in the balance for the ailing airline. After a board meet at the airline’s headquarter on Tuesday, Jet’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vinay Dube wrote to the consortium of Jet’s lenders, asking them for Rs 400 crore. However, there is still no sight of the funds. This is despite the fact that the Ministry of Finance has been reiterating that banks are working on a rescue package for Jet Airways and funds would be made available. A statement released by Dube said, “The company, under the guidance of the Board, has reached out to our lead lender, State Bank of India, yet again and stressed on the need for urgent funding requirements, critical to the continuation of the operations of our airline.”
Banks not ready to pay Jet?
As per a resolution plan approved by Jet Airways on March 25, the consortium of Jet’s lenders, led by the State Bank of India (SBI) were supposed to infuse Rs 1,500 crores into the airline. The amount was later revised to Rs 1,000 crores. However, even Rs 400 crore seems hard to come by as of now. Banks seem to be unwilling to shell out any more funds for an airline that already owes them Rs 8,000 crore. “It is almost done and dusted here. We are ready to go home,” said a Jet Airways employee.
Jet operating five flights
Currently, Jet is operating five flights on domestic routes and may continue to do so till oil retailers cut off the fuel supply. “If the money doesn't come through, OMCs may stop the supply by 3 pm today,” said an employee. Indian Oil Corporation has already suspended jet fuel supply twice to the airline in the past few days.
April 17 is Mahavir Jayanti — a bank holiday
As Jet scrambles to get some funds, the fact that April 17 is Mahavir Jayanti and therefore, a bank holiday, complicates things further for the airline. “Will banks transfer money on a bank holiday?” is a question that is being asked by one and all at Siroya.
Four bidders shortlisted
Meanwhile, SBI Caps, which is overseeing the bidding process, has shortlisted four contenders for Jet Airways — Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and sovereign fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund.
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