Jet Airways delays interest payments, grounds more planes

Jet Airways cancels 3 flights from Vadodara 2 from Bhuj

Etihad Airways owns 24% stake in Jet Airways. Although Jet has run out of cash completely and has grounded half its fleet, the lenders have so far resisted any move to take the airline to the NCLT.

An official with State Bank of India (SBI), Jet's largest creditor, said on Friday that a consortium of lenders should reach a final resolution plan to rescue the embattled airline in one week. "Due to operational reasons, Jet has cancelled a number of flights to and from Abu Dhabi". A MakeMyTrip spokesperson said that "with the suspension of Jet Airways' flight services to Abu Dhabi, we are giving full refunds in case of flight cancellations".

Jet Airways Ltd said on Monday it has grounded four more planes and would delay paying interest on maturing debt in a fresh sign of deepening liquidity crisis engulfing the Indian carrier saddled with over $1 billion debt.

While discussions with the lessors continue, Goyal said as a responsible airline, Jet has "consciously" and "proactively" made a decision to curtail its schedule according to the number of aircraft it is now operating.

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"The company is also making all efforts to minimize disruption to its network...and is proactively informing and reaccommodating its affected guests". Last week, SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar had said that his bank was keen to ensure that the airline keeps on running. Earlier this month, he had assured them the same would start happening by Monday (March 18). "I once again assure you that I am personally committed to having the process completed as soon as possible and restore the much-needed stability to our operations at the earliest".

The airline has, however, till date not shared the number of flights it has been cancelling for over a month now and neither the aviation regulator DGCA has shown any transparency on the issue. While others said that they were being put on hold for close to an hour, only to be disconnected later.

The report said that several Etihad board members had expressed reservations about the terms proposed by the lenders, including the addition of two nominee directors from the promoter group of Jet Airways and its promoter Goyal's demand for exclusion of the perpetuity clause, which capped his shareholding at 22%.

On Monday, Jet Airways shares rose 0.87% to ₹237.90 apiece on the BSE, while the benchmark Sensex gained 0.19% to 38,095.07 points.

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