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Financial problems at India’s Jet Airways has now resulted in 21 of its predominantly leased fleet of 119 aircraft grounded through payment default to leasing companies.
This figure does not include aircraft which have been grounded for maintenance purposes. Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways holds a 24 percent stake in the beleaguered carrier.
With an increasing number of flights being canceled each week, Jet Airways has been struggling to restructure the carrier’s financial situation, though it has remained in constant contact with lessors to keep them abreast of the situation.
It had been hoped that the SBI-led banking consortium would look to part of a restructuring deal through conversion of debt into equity along with a mix of equity infusion and sale and leaseback of aircraft already owned by the carrier.
It is understood that the bank-led consortium would sound out lessors on their payment issue concerns in view of the intended restructuring as a means to avoid the grounding of aircraft.
However, the continued action of aircraft lessors to ground aircraft means they clearly do not feel confident that the restructuring plan approved by shareholders at the company’s AGM on February 24.
Jet Airways officials said there have also been talks of some ‘interim payment’ from SBI soon which could be used for paying pending salaries to its employees.