The airline may fly by mid next year if this JV is able to raise the required funds through a mix of measures like infusing equity of about Rs 1,000 crore; selling the six old planes owned by Jet to get a few new ones and offering equity to lenders.
While financial troubles for Jet had started worsening two years back, India’s oldest private airline that started operating in May 1993 ran out of funds completely last year and had its last flight on April 18, 2019, — days short of its 26th birthday. Since then attempts were being made to somehow make the airline take to the skies again.
Ashish Chhawchharia, resolution professional for Jet, said in a regulatory filing on Saturday: “…final resolution plans submitted by two resolution applicants were discussed by the committee of creditors (CoC) members… (and) put to e-vote… The e-voting concluded today (Oct 17) and the resolution plan submitted by Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch has been approved by the CoC…” Now final approval of National Company Law Tribunal is being sought for the same by the resolution professional.
Once cleared by the NCLT, the winning consortium will start the process for Jet to take off again by raising required funds, getting a fleet and seeking return of the slots as per requirement that were given to other airlines after last April.
While creditors and employees made claims of over Rs 40,000 crore, the RP admitted claims for Rs 15,525 crore. Jet, which had its first flight from Mumbai (to Ahmedabad) on May 5, 1993, saw its last flight to Mumbai (from Amritsar) on April 17, 2019.
Now whether Jet takes off again depends on the ability of the winning consortia to raise the required resources as airlines are a very cash-intensive business. The onus is now on the JV of European entrepreneur Florian Fritsch-founded financial advisory and asset management company Kalrock Capital and Dubai-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan.
The other resolution plan was submitted by a consortium of Imperial Capital-FSTC which is launching a startup airline in India called Fly Big. This airline has won some routes under regional connectivity scheme and will operate them with turboprops.