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Creditors back plan to fly Jet Airways to India again

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Creditors on Saturday backed a surprise plan by a consortium to revive Jet Airways 18 months after India’s largest private airline collapsed with $ 1.2 billion in debt.

London-based investment fund Kalrock Capital and Dubai-based magnate Murari Lal Jalan proposed the bailout which was “duly approved” by a committee of creditors, Jet said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The statement did not give details of the plan, but media said they had offered to make a payment of around $ 115 million to creditors and equity in the new business that they wanted to focus on the roads. international.

Creditors, mostly Indian public sector banks, took over Jet in early 2019, but failed to keep it going as its cash crunch grew. It was finally founded in April 2019.

In addition to its $ 1.2 billion debt to banks, the airline also faces huge claims from 20,000 former employees, airports and suppliers. The total liability could exceed $ 4 billion.

Kalrock Capital, founded by German entrepreneur Florian Fritsch, focuses on real estate and venture capital and has a major investment in electric car maker Tesla. Murai Lal Jalan built his fortune through mining, papermaking and trading in several countries.

The consortium will need approval from a government court and India’s aviation ministry before sealing the deal to buy the airline, which is expected to recoup flight slots since granted to other airlines.

The move comes despite the fatal blow to the global aviation industry from the coronavirus pandemic, which this year has virtually crippled international flights.

India still only allows a slow recovery on domestic routes and very limited international flights.

Bad investments, poor financial management, competition from low-cost carriers, high oil prices and a low rupee led to the collapse of Jet.

Several former executives are under investigation for money laundering and fraud. Naresh Goyal, who founded the airline in 1992, is accused of financial mismanagement and was barred from boarding a flight to London at Mumbai airport last year.

ja / tw / mtp

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