Jet Airways seeks emergency funds, operates only 5 planes

Etihad Heathrow slots

Jet management has informed the board that lenders are still divided on the issue of interim funding, the sources said requesting anonymity.

Bankers and an Indian government official said lenders are trying to line up funds to keep aloft the once-dominant Indian airline, whose shares earlier on Tuesday slumped to their lowest levels since August 2015.

Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said that aviation ministry will also convene a meeting of airlines, airport representatives over capacity expansion and airfare issues on April 18. The airline had hoped to receive some funds on Monday evening as that would have allowed for clearance of salaries and a possible increase in its operational fleet. Meanwhile, the airline has extended suspension of its worldwide operations till April 18.

Jet Airways has nearly run out of funds to pay for fuel and other operational expenses.

On Monday, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube said that the lenders could not decide on the emergency funding and that the airline's board would meet on Tuesday to take a call on the future.

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On April 15, lenders did not take a final decision on providing emergency funds to the cash-strapped carrier.

The board of the full service carrier, which is now operating less than 10 aircraft, is meeting in Mumbai on April 16.

Jet Airways has a debt burden of more than Rs 8,000 crore.

Another government official said that approaching the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for Jet Airways is not an option at this stage.

It said that the operations have been severely impacted due to the liquidity conditions and added "The company's leadership, in consultation with its Board of Directors, is engaged with lenders in connection with the said emergency funding request to arrest further deterioration of its services and minimize inconvenience to its guests". "SBI Capital Markets is working on the revival package for Jet Airways", Mehta told reporters here.

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