NEW DELHI: Jet Airways' committee of creditors (CoC) is likely to invite fresh Expressions of Interest (EoI) within a week. The committee is also considering the option of interim funding for the beleaguered airline to pay for routine and statutory expenses.The deadline to submit EoIs for the airline will end in the first half of August and lenders are expected to reach out to potential buyers over the next few weeks. Jet, which has lost almost all of its valuable possessions — be it its slots at domestic airports and international flying rights — might also get small dollops of capital that would pay routine expenses, auditing and other statutory spending.
The money that the lenders may put in for these expenses could be around Rs 140 crore. Facing a severe financial crunch, Jet had suspended its operations mid-April after it failed to secure interim funding from creditors. The lenders led by State Bank of India (SBI) tried selling up to 75 per cent stake in the airline earlier, but couldn’t find a single investor at that point of time. The consortium, in June, approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) to recover dues of more than Rs 8,500 crore from the Naresh Goyal-owned company.
As of now, only one suitor has confirmed interest in the insolvency process. Meanwhile, a group of Jet employees has teamed up with London-based AdiGro Aviation to form a consortium and will bid for 75 per cent stake in the airline.At one time, Hinduja Group and UAE’s Etihad had shown interest in Jet, but had reportedly sought a huge haircut and placed several conditions for taking over the ailing airline.
Interestingly, as the lenders and resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia of Grant Thornton India are trying to find a new buyer for the airline, the government is also trying to sell the national carrier Air India.