NCLT adjourns Jet Airways hearing to June 20; revival talks get fresh lease of life

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With the adjournment of an insolvency plea against Jet Airways by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on June 13, talks to revive the carrier has gained a fresh lease of life.

Sources told Moneycontrol that officials of Jet Airways, Etihad Airways and the Hinduja Group are now in constant dialogue to chart out a revival plan along with the lenders.

There had a been a question mark over the talks after two operational creditors of Jet Airways filed the insolvency petition against the airline at the Mumbai bench of NCLT. The Tribunal has adjourned the plea to June 20.

Jet Airways has asked for more time to respond.

“Lenders will have to take a call with regards to the insolvency plea. The attempt will be to ensure that the revival attempts succeed and there is no need to go the NCLT way,” a senior executive from the industry said.

On Wednesday, officials of Etihad Airways, Hinduja Group, Jet Airways and lenders huddled in a day-long meeting in Mumbai.

Additionally, CNBC-TV18 reported that information has been sought on requirements to restart Jet Airways operations, which were suspended on April 17. A war room has been created to give the relevant information, the channel added.

Despite the progress, some apprehensions still remain as it is unclear if Etihad Airways and the Hinduja Group have got all the assurances that they have been seeking from the government.

The two interested parties had asked for a deep haircut on Jet Airways debt of over Rs 8,000 crore.

Also, “The group doesn’t want to be dragged into any litigation related to Jet Airways’ last promoter and doesn’t want to be in a sticky position because of that. It also wants Jet Airways’ slots and traffic rights to be restored,” a senior industry executive had stated.

Both, Etihad Airways and the Hinduja Group, want a minority stake in the Indian carrier. The Abu Dhabi-based airline wants to retain a stake similar to its current holding of 24 percent. The Hinduja Group is also looking for a stake below 25 percent.