Jet Airways awaits NCLT clearance

Issue: 3 / 2021

April 17, 2021 marked the end of second year since Jet Airways was grounded over multi-crore unpaid dues after 25 years of operations. On October 17, 2020, the Committee of Creditors had voted in favour of the consortium UAE based Kalrock Capital and Entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan. The airline had drawn curtains on its operations on April 17, 2019 over unpaid dues to the tune of 8,000 crore. Soon after its grounding, State Bank of India had dragged the airline to the insolvency court. Captain Sangeeta Joshi, an employee of Jet Airways said that on the one hand, it is heartening to see that even after two years of grounding, people miss the ”Joy of Flying” with the “flying sun”. On the other hand, “it’s been over six months, with innumerable court hearings, but the sword of ‘slots’ still hangs over our heads.” In 2019, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had handed over Jet Airway’s slots to other airlines “temporarily.” The authorities had “positively” assured that the slots would be returned to Jet if and when there was a firm business proposal.

Two years on, the employees, lenders, vendors, the resolution professional and the winning consortium are eagerly awaiting the approval from the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) of the resolution plan submitted by the winning consortium. Unfortunately, the process is taking longer than expected, and it is hampered by the second wave of the pandemic. The consortium had plans to restart the airline by April 2021. In the backdrop of the delay in approvals, in a recent interview with Business Line, Jalan said that the consortium planned to restart the airline within four-five months of the approvals from the NCLT.