20 March 2019: Jet Airways chairman Naresh Goyal has recently met Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, sources told CNBC-TV18, adding that the former is currently in Dubai and meeting other potential investors.
Goyal is not expected to be back in India before April, added the sources.
Rajnish Kumar, chairman, State Bank of India, on Wednesday said the lenders will make every effort to keep Jet Airways flying and all stakeholders are in the unanimous view that the airline is a good aviation property.
Kumar met finance minister Arun Jaitley along with aviation secretary Pradip Singh Kharola and Nripendra Misra, principal secretary to Prime Minister.
“An effort has been made by lenders to keep the airline running in the interest of all stakeholders and resolution plan for Jet Airways was almost ready but there is some delay,” said Rajnish Kumar, chairman, State Bank of India.
On Etihad, he said the lenders are interested in Jet Airways and dialogue with the UAE-based airline is still on.
On insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC), the SBI chairman said it is the last option for Jet Airways and the bankruptcy law is nearly impossible for an industry like this.
Earlier, multiple sources told CNBC-TV18 that Jet Airways lenders are discussing replacing Etihad Airways with a new investor after the Abu Dhabi-based airline offered to sell its stake in the beleaguered airline. The new investor is likely to be an investment fund, added the sources.
Etihad holds 24 percent stake in Jet Airways and was widely expected to be a major helping hand for the beleaguered airline. The airline had asked for interim funding support of Rs 750 crore from Etihad to continue operations. However, the board meeting of Etihad on the matter was inconclusive.
Jet has been frequently grounding planes as it is unable to pay the dues to its lessors and is currently operating around 35 planes. The airline’s operations from Mumbai to Manchester and Hong Kong will likely be suspended from March 23.
Jet has more than Rs 8,000 crore in debt and is looking for urgent liquidity infusion to pay its pilots, engineers and make payments to its lessors.