Jet Airways, once India’s largest private airline, yesterday evening halted all flight operations indefinitely after lenders led by State Bank of India declined to extend more funds, Channel News Asia reported.
The debt-ridden carrier failed to receive a stop-gap loan of about US$217 million from its lenders, as part of a rescue deal agreed in late March. Amid financial trouble, its founder stepped down, unpaid pilots went on strike and flights were suspended.
Jet Airways’ lenders have decided that the best way forward for the airline’s survival is to get the binding bids from potential investors with expressions of interest, Channel News Asia reported.
“Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner,” the article quoted.
Shortlisted suitors are believed to include private equity firms TPG Capital and Indigo Partners, Indian wealth fund National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), and Etihad Airways, which already owns a minority stake in the airline.