Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Liquidator reopens bidding for Jet Airways

The Resolution Professional of Jet Airways (9W, Mumbai Int'l) Ashish Chhawchharia issued a new call for Expressions Of Interest (EOI) in the airline with a deadline to submit bids on January 6, 2020.

The first call, initially announced on July 20, resulted in just one valid EOI from Synergy Aerospace. However, the South American holding subsequently failed to submit a valid business plan for the revival of the airline despite numerous extensions of the deadline.

The liquidator said that the new call would allow other entities to join or re-join the bidding. Reportedly, two new investors showed interest in Jet Airways in recent weeks. While their precise identities have not been disclosed, one has been reported to be an Indian entity backed by UK investors, while the other one is reportedly a "fund based in West Asia".

Indian conglomerate Hinduja Group, which showed interest in Jet Airways in summer 2019 but ultimately did not bid, said it remained interested in the carrier but only if it was allowed to acquire it without liabilities.

"The National Company Law Tribunal wasn’t giving us protection from past problems. So, if we were to go into Jet Airways, we would face past problems. We said we need a clean sheet," chairman of the group’s India operations Ashok Hinduja told The Mint.

Hinduja underlined that the initial interest of the conglomerate in Jet Airways came after the government and the creditors requested it to invest in the then-functioning airline.

Prospective bidders were discouraged by the unclear status of Jet Airways' slots at Delhi Int'l, Mumbai Int'l, and London Heathrow airports. In particular, the Indian authorities have so far been providing contradictory information as to whether Jet Airways would be able to regain its former slots, which have since its collapse been reallocated to other Indian carriers.
25/12/19 ch-aviation
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