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Friday, 12 April, 2019, 10 : 30 AM [IST]

Jet Airways now operates only 14 planes

Naresh Goyal may bid for airline
Jet Airways is operating 14 aircraft on Thursday, the smallest fleet of among schedule domestic carriers. Government rules stipulate an airline must have at least 20 planes to be eligible to fly abroad. “Jet is operating 14 aircraft today (Thursday),” said a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official. These aircraft are: 7 wide body (six B777 and one Airbus A330); 4 Boeing 737 and 3 turboprop ATRs. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation said, “Jet is currently operating less than 15 planes and its eligibility to fly on international routes needs to be examined." Singapore’s Changi Airport tweeted Jet “has suspended its services to and from Singapore until further notice. Passengers are advised to contact their booking agent or the airline directly for available options.” 

Meanwhile, airline sources say founder Naresh Goyal may submit expression of interest (EoI) for buying stake in the airline. The last date ofsubmitting EoIs is Friday. People whose EoIs are found eligible, PSUs, government-promoted funds and quasi sovereign can submit bid by April 30.
The earlier deadline for submitting an EoI ended on Wednesday. SBI caps said, ‘We are in receipt of some EoIs and some more persons have expressed desire to participate if additional time is provided. Accordingly, in order to allow better participation in the process, the domestic lenders have agreed for extension timeline.” Lenders have already been having talks with Etihad and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). Jet has told lenders they must give the promised emergency funding of Rs 1,500 crore “to keep the airline operational” during the ongoing stake sale process initiated by them. “It cannot keep flying for much longer without that,” said a person in the know.

Goyal has pledged 26% stake in Jet as security for loans from Punjab National Bank, according to a regulatory filing. Jet on Thursday said in a BSE filing that Goyal has pledged over 2.95 crore shares or 26.01% stake with PNB on April 4 as “security for existing/ new borrowings taken by Jet Airways (India) Ltd.” On that very day, almost 5.8 crore shares held by him were released. These had been under “non disposal undertaking” as security for borrowings taken by the airline, the filing said. Goyal recently quit as airline chairman as part of bank-led restructuring plan.

 
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