Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Jet Airways: NCLT approves Kalrock-Jalan plan, asks civil min & DGCA to decide on slots in 90 days

The Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has approved the resolution plan submitted by a consortium of UK-based Kalrock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan, with some riders.

The two-judge bench presided by Janab Mohammed Ajmal and V Nallasenapathy approved the Kalrock-Jalan resolution plan but said Jet Airways would have no historic rights over landing slots.

In a verbal order pronounced this afternoon, the court said the allotment of slots would be decided by the appropriate authority, which in this case would be the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA). The court has given the government 90 days’ time for the same. The Kalrock-Jalan had claimed historicity to get all the slots of the airline back, which have now been allotted to other airlines like Indigo, SpiceJet, GoAir, etc over the two years that Jet has remained grounded.

A landing slot is simply the permission of the airport operator for an airline to land a plane (and then take off). This gives the airline the right to land the aircraft, as well as to use all necessary airport services and infrastructure.

While the court laid out a specific 90-day timeline for Jet Airways to get all these necessary approvals, it also said it would consider granting an extension as required if there is an unforeseen delay. At the same time, the NCLT bench also directed the government to ensure that the airline's resolution plan is not frustrated because of obduracy. The fine print of the NCLT order is awaited.

In a statement, Kalrock-Jalan Consortium, said, "The consortium awaits the written order by the National Company Law Tribunal approving the Resolution Plan and shall inform all stakeholders on next steps for the revival of their beloved airline – Jet Airways. The Consortium takes this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders who supported the Consortium in this long journey until now and the Consortium seeks their continued support and encouragement on the way forward."

"The consortium maintains its stand that it wants to work alongside the ministry of civil aviation, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and all its competitors to put Jet Airways back in the skies. The journey until now has been extremely challenging yet satisfying and this would not have been possible without the continued support of the Committee of Creditors of Jet Airways, the Resolution Professional for Jet Airways, all the Advisors and Consultants of the Consortium, and the millions of Jet Airways well-wishers and loyal customers across the Globe, who stood by us throughout the process. We are overwhelmed by the support. Our team will study the written order once issued by the Hon’ble National Company Law Tribunal and we will provide a detailed response on the next steps subsequently," it added.

Speaking to CNBC-TV18 after the verdict was pronounced, the insolvency resolution professional of the airline, Ashish Chhawchharia said, "I am quite pleased that the bench has approved the plan...and we thank for bench for that. As far as the slots are concerned, my understanding is- and of course, we have to see when the actual order comes out, but my understanding is they (NCLT) have requested and directed the government to co-operate because without slots the airline cannot operate. They have not allowed the historicity which is one of the contentions of the RA (resolution applicant, ie Kalrock-Jalan consortium) was, and also from our side. But they have also given a very time-bound order saying that within 90 days the authorities are expected to work along with the resolution applicant."

22/06/21  Ritu Singh/CNBC TV18

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