India's Jet Airways faces imminent shutdown without emergency funds

Read Jet Airways Statement On Temporary Suspension Of Flight Operations

India's debt-stricken Jet Airways grounded all of its operations today after failing to secure emergency funding from lenders, the carrier said in a statement.

Billionair businessman Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines was a big competitor for Jet Airways before it too went bust, took to Twitter to express his sympathy for Naresh Goyal, the airline's founder.

Jet, which has around US$1.2 billion in bank debt, has been teetering for weeks after failing to receive a stop-gap loan of about US$217 million as part of a rescue deal in late March. "The last flight will operate today", Jet Airways said in the filing.

"Will the money come, or will we shut operations by end of the day?" - the question hangs heavy in the air at Siroya Centre, the Mumbai-based headquarters of Jet Airways. In the last five years, airlines like Air Pegasus, Air Costa, Air Carnival, Air Deccan, Air Odisha and Zoom Air have all gone belly up. Also passengers will suffer higher prices by opportunist industry'.

The airline said it would continue to work with its lenders, who are trying to identify an investor willing to buy a majority stake in the airline and attempt to turn it around.

Speaking to newspersons after an interaction with Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Sunil Mehta Punjab National Bank Managing Director & CEO, said: "Discussions for reviving the airline are under way and nothing has been finalised as of now".

Jet's creditors, led by SBI, want a new investor to acquire a stake of up to 75 percent and initial expressions of interest were submitted last week.

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Two sources at state-run banks told Reuters that the banks had rejected a request for 4 billion rupees ($58 million) from Jet to keep itself temporarily afloat.

In a statement that Jet Airways released announcing the halting of ops, the airline says it will "inform all guests about the temporary suspension of flight operations via text message or email to the contact details listed in their bookings".

SBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

India's aviation regulator said on its website on Wednesday that lessors had applied to de-register another four Boeing Co 737 planes.

Airways. We have also informed the DGCA, and the Ministries of Civil Aviation and Finance and other relevant government institutions, of this course of action.

Once deregistered, lessors are free to reclaim a plane and lease it to another airline.

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