NEW DELHI: In a major setback to the new owners of Jet Airways, the carrier will not be allowed to claim a historical right over its earlier airport slots.
The Mumbai bench of the NCLT rejected the new owners’ appeal on slots on Wednesday and said that these slots cannot be allocated to the Corporate Debtor beyond the procedure prescribed under the guidelines.
Restoration, it said, has to be worked out within the parameters prescribed under the guidelines.
“The facts and circumstances would indicate that, presently, the slots cannot be restored to the Corporate Debtor on a historic basis. The thumb rule being ‘use it or lose it’,” stated the order from the two judge-bench comprising Justices Janab Mohammed Ajmal and V Nallasenapathy.
“Even otherwise, the Corporate Debtor immediately after the approval of the Resolution Plan would not be utilising all the slots. It can only seek slots as and when it had the Aircraft and the attendant wherewithal and logistical support in place, which according to the Resolution Plan would be in phases,” it added.
The Jalan-Kalrock consortium, which won the bidding for Jet, had requested that the slots should be allotted to them on a historicity basis.
Jet Airways had about 700 slots across airports such as Mumbai and Delhi, a highly valuable asset for any airline. These slots were allocated to other airlines after Jet suspended operations in April 2019.
In the months that followed, Jet was admitted under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) and the Committee of Creditors (CoC), led by the SBI, approved the resolution plan submitted by a consortium of UK’s Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan in October 2020.
The resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia had stated last week that if everything goes well, Jet Airways could return to the skies by the end of 2021.