Wednesday, September 06, 2023

NCLAT defers hearing of plea of prospective Jet Airways aircraft buyer to September 27

 The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on September 6 deferred the appeal by Ace Aviation, a prospective buyer of grounded airline Jet Airways' aircraft, to September 27.

Ace Aviation had filed an appeal asking for the sale of aircraft to be processed by the monitoring committee of Jet Airways.

The appeal was adjourned after the buyer,  Ace Aviation Limited, told the appellate tribunal that the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) had reserved orders in its application. Senior advocate Ritin Rai, who appeared for Ace Aviation, sought a deferment stating that the order could be pronounced in the coming weeks and the next course of action in the appeal can be decided only after the order is pronounced.

On August 10, NCLAT deferred the hearing of the appeal after orally observing that they could not force the monitoring committee of Jet Airways to sell these aircraft.

Ace argued that they were ready to purchase three of Jet's aircraft for a total of Rs 400 crore and they have already brought in Rs 50 crore to make the purchase and are in the process of bringing in another Rs 350 crore. However, the sale was delayed on account of a deadlock between the lenders and Jalan Kalrock Consortium, which has taken over Jet Airways.

Ace Aviation Limited's letter of intent (LoI) for the purchase of the aircraft was accepted by the monitoring committee. However, the sale process was put on hold due to a logjam between Jalan Kalarock Consortium and the creditors of the airline.

The consortium emerged as the successful resolution applicant to restart the operations of the airline, which was grounded in 2019. The consortium is now tasked with operating the airline.

The NCLT in its July 19 order noted that an "order either allowing the sale of the aircraft or restraining the sale would lead to reopening of the duly approved Resolution Plan. Since the sale process was kept in abeyance by the lenders and monitoring committee, it is their responsibility to clear the deadlock as it has arisen post-approval of the resolution plan."

It emerged that while the airline's lenders were aggregable for the sale of the aircraft, the consortium and the erstwhile workmen are opposed to it.

According to the consortium, the effective date of implementation of the resolution plan would start from August 2023 and they are ready to implement the plan, and as per the terms of the plan, the sale proceeds should come to Jet and not the lenders.

06/09/2023 SN Thyagarajan/Moneycontrol

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