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No sight of funds, uncertainty hangs heavy at Jet Airways

17 April 2019

Bad investments, competition from several low-priced carriers, high oil prices and a weak rupee have led to Jet's current financial predicament, analysts say.

The airline, once India's largest private carrier, has been forced in recent weeks to cancel hundreds of flights and to halt all flights to overseas destinations.

Jet and its lead lender State Bank of India (SBI) did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

"Unfortunately, despite its very best efforts, the airline has been left with no other choice today but to go ahead with a temporary suspension of flight operations", the statement reads.

Referring to his offer to repay 100 per cent of his loans to Indian banks and government, Mallya said, "I invested hugely into Kingfisher which rapidly grew to become India's largest and most awarded airline".

Jet, which has been facing financial troubles for over a year now, owes its lenders Rs 8,000 crore rupees.

On Monday, in a letter to its employees, Jet Airways had said that it planned to extend its suspension of worldwide flights till Thursday as it had not received any interim funding from lenders.

The airline will now await the bid finalisation process by SBI and the consortium of Indian lenders, Jet said, adding that it will continue to support the bid process initiated by the banks. Among the other things discussed were the steadily increasing fares on other airlines and flight cancellations with Jet Airways steadily reducing its operations. "The last flight will operate today", Jet Airways said in the filing. The bid process will conclude on 10th May 2019 ...

The Jet Airways board had authorised chief executive Vinay Dube on Tuesday to make one last appeal to the SBI-led consortium to get a life-line of Rs 400 crore on Wednesday, before taking a final call on the future.

"We are ready to go home", a Jet Airways employee told Moneycontrol. But, thus far, they have disbursed less than Rs 300 crore, that too in small amounts, citing procedural delays.

With no funding coming forthwith to rescue it, Jet Airways is all set to suspend all operations temporarily from midnight on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Mumbai-headquartered airline had informed the bourses that its operations have been severely impacted in the last few days due to acute fund shortage.

A collapse of Jet, and the loss of more than 20,000 jobs, would deal a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pro-business reputation as he seeks a second term in ongoing national elections.

No sight of funds, uncertainty hangs heavy at Jet Airways