Jet Airways fleet down to just 5 planes

#dailynews60 : Jet Airways has sought emergency funds from banks and is currently operating only five planes, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said Tuesday.

The cash-strapped airline has already suspended its international operations till April 18.

Separately, the civil aviation ministry would convene meetings of representatives of airlines and airports on April 18 to discuss capacity expansion, rising airfares and other issues.

Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank (PNB) Managing Director Sunil Mehta said that lenders to the cash-strapped Jet Airways are committed to reviving the air carrier but nothing has been finalised yet.

PNB is part of a consortium of 26 lenders, led by State Bank of India (SBI), which have exposure to Jet Airways’ debt of over Rs 8,000 crore.

“Discussions for reviving the airline are underway and nothing has been finalised as of now. SBI Capital Markets is working on the revival package for Jet Airways,” Mehta told reporters here.

On Monday, SBI said the bid process for the orderly sale of equity in Jet Airways is currently being run by SBI Caps and is being vetted by the legal team and the prospective bidders will be shortlisted by SBI Caps shortly.

SBI spokesperson Monday also said, “The bid process for the orderly sale of equity in Jet Airways is currently being run by SBI Caps and is being vetted by the legal team. The prospective bidders will be shortlisted by SBI Caps shortly.”

The lender also said the proposed equity conversion by banks, if any, will be undertaken as a transitory mechanism to facilitate the bidding-cum-sale process.

SBI is acting on behalf of the group of lenders as part of the bank-led resolution process.

“Necessary support to facilitate the process is being extended by the banks in the consortium. Cooperation by and support from all the other stakeholders will be the key to the success of the process,” the SBI spokesperson had said.

With no funds coming in from its lenders, the beleaguered Jet Airways had to extend the suspension of its international flights till April 18. Banks had earlier promised to pump Rs 1,500 crore into the airline.

“The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, and as a result, we have extended cancellation of international operations through Thursday,” said Jet Airways (India) CEO Vinay Dube in a letter on Monday to the airline’s over 20,000 employees.