Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Jet Airways pilots union moves Supreme Court; asks for funds from banks

National Aviators Guild (NAG), the union of Jet Airways pilots, has approached the Supreme Court asking it to intervene and effectively rescue the airline, just days before the deadline for its bidding expires.

May 10 is the last day to submit bids, and four bidders  - Etihad Airways, TPG Capital, Indigo Partners and the NIIF.

But there is an increasing concern that none of the bidders may bid, and that may have prompted the NAG to approach the Court.

Blaming the banks for circumstances that forced the airline to suspend operations on April 17, the petition asked the Court to direct the lenders to release money and restart operations. The union said banks had failed to fulfil their promise to inject Rs 1,500 crore into the airline.
The petition lists eight respondents, including the Indian government, State Bank of India - the lead lender, industry regulator DGCA and Jet Airways itself.

The Union has also asked the Court to prevent the government and the DGCA from allotting Jet Airways' slots in airports to its competitors, "on a permanent basis."

The government last month said it will allot 440 Jet Airways slots in Mumbai and Delhi airports to other airlines for three months.

Through the petition, they also asked the Apex Court to intervene and prevent the government from allotting seats under bilateral agreements on international sectors to other airlines.

They also highlighted the worry that Jet Airways aircraft are being de-registered and given to competition.
07/05/19 Prince Mathews Thomas/Moneycontrol.com

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