Hours after refusing to consider a request for critical interim funding for maintaining even bare minimum operations, the Jet Airways lenders led by the State Bank of India on Thursday said they are “reasonably hopeful” that the stake sale process would succeed and determine a fair value of the enterprise.
“Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining the fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner.” a statement said.
The official statement said the lenders after due deliberations decided that the best way forward for the survival of Jet Airways was to get the binding bids from potential investors who have shown expression of interest (EOI) and have been issued bid documents on April 16.
Financially-stressed Jet Airways had announced to temporarily suspend all flight operations from Wednesday after it failed to get an emergency funding of Rs 400 crore from its lenders.
“Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source is forthcoming, the airline will not be able to pay for fuel and other critical services to keep the operations going. Consequently, with immediate effect, Jet Airways is compelled to cancel all its international and domestic flights,” the airline said in its filing.
On Monday evening, the airlines had informed that it had time till Tuesday afternoon to pay fuel vendors failing which it might have to ground its operational fleet.
Going by the sources in the industry, the company is almost out of funds and is relying only on the negligible funds being infused by lenders on an expense-to-expense basis.
Till Monday, Jet was operating only 7 aircraft for domestic operations due to the grounding of over 80 per cent of its fleet by lessors owing to non-payment of dues.
The airline, that once operated around 120 aircraft, is now left with just 16 planes in its fleet. It owes over Rs 8,000 crore to a consortium of lenders led by the state-run State Bank of India (SBI).
Jet Airways’ founder chairman Naresh Goyal has already withdrawn from making a bid for a stake in the company.
Jet Airways pilots had on Monday appealed to the State Bank of India (SBI) to release Rs 1,500 crore for cash-strapped airline’s survival and also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help save 20,000 jobs at stake.