Monday, April 08, 2019

Jet: different journeys for different investors

Even as lenders have kick-started the process of selecting a bidder for Jet Airways, the carrier is reporting a daily loss of more than ₹20 crore with sharp erosion in cash flows, company officials said.

While Jet’s promoter Naresh Goyal has stepped down in deference to the wishes of the lenders, its strategic partner Etihad Airways is unwilling to take charge.

To add to its woes, the lenders have declined to disburse the much-needed ₹1,500 crore loan. Jet Airways, once one of India’s top airlines, is possibly heading towards oblivion as cash taps dry up, said the officials. The over six-month delay in the execution of the rescue plan had made the situation only difficult, they added.

Jet Airways, that had reported a negative net worth of ₹10,370 crore as on December 31, 2018 and bank loans worth ₹7,500 crore, including aircraft loans, is estimated to have recorded losses of a few thousand more crore during the January to March quarter.

“There is no clear idea about how much money the airline might have lost in the last three months,” said Ansuman Deb, aviation analyst, ICICI Securities.

Analysts said the situation was grave since there had been no advance cash flows and the working capital requirement had spiralled out of control. Besides, most of the fleet had been groundeddue to non-payment of dues to lessors. As on December 31, 2018, Jet’s current liabilities had exceeded its current assets by ₹9,610 crore and as on March 31, 2019, it might have increased by a few thousand crores.
“From what has been reported by the airline so far, you can easily add ₹3,000 to ₹4,000 crore to the losses,” an analyst said, asking not to be named.
While Jet’s total liability is estimated to be over $2 billion, its assets are no match.
08/04/19 Lalatendu Mishra/The Hindu
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