1 June 2019: Lenders to Jet Airways have just a few days to appeal the May 21 bankruptcy ruling given by a district court in North Holland. The troubled airline was declared bankrupt in response a complaint filed by two European creditors.
In April, H Esser Finance Company and Wallenborn Transport filed a petition citing unpaid claims worth around `280 crore from the ailing carrier.
Even though no representative from the airline appeared for the hearing, prima facie evidence was found to declare the airline bankrupt, according to the court order seen by FE.
Jet Airways has been given two weeks, ending June 4, to file an appeal. Following the court order, the trustee in charge appointed by the Dutch court, the equivalent of a resolution professional in India, wrote to Jet Airways as well as State Bank of India (SBI) seeking that the Netherlands government be given access to the financials and assets of the airline.
Bankers to the airline are also concerned more foreign creditors may proceed legally against the defunct airline, after a Dutch court recently declared it bankrupt, bankers aware of the developments told FE.
“It is not just about one aircraft or one court declaring it bankrupt. Jet has several creditors across the US, Amsterdam and other countries. We have to check what impact this might have on the lenders here and how their rights could be affected or breached,” one banker said.
Meanwhile, one of Jet’s aircraft, parked in the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, had already been seized by one of the foreign creditors before the bankruptcy proceedings began, one of the officials said. The seizure of Jet’s aircraft could have serious implications for the sale process of the airline. It could also negatively impact its liquidation process, should lenders choose to take that course of action with the grounded airline.
Lenders may take the airline to the National Company Law Tribunal if no serious bidder emerges in the coming few days. The Hinduja Group, which last week said it was evaluating whether to bid for Jet Airways, is yet to put in a formal bid for the airline. The lenders had initiated the sale of Jet Airways in April, after the airline failed to meet its debt obligations. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, a strategic partner of Jet Airways, was the only party to show any interest.
Jet Airways halted operations on April 17 after lenders rejected its request to provide emergency funding. The civil aviation ministry has allotted a significant portion of the airline’s slots in major airports to other scheduled carriers. Matters complicated further for the airline with the series of resignations from the top management since May 13.
On Thursday, the airline informed the exchanges that it was not in a position to present audited financial results for the financial year 2018-2019.