The Hindu Business Line
With fresh doubts arising over debt-to-equity conversion plan, Jet board reviews operations
The Jet Airways board met late Wednesday evening to review an update on its operations and consider the resolution plan that has been drawn up for the airline.
The meeting came a day after the Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the Reserve Bank of India’s circular on a revised framework for the resolution of stressed assets.
On February 14, the Jet Airways board agreed to a plan wherein the lenders, led by State Bank of India, would take over the airline’s debt and convert it into 11.4 crore shares for just ₹1. But the Supreme Court’s latest judgment could stall the plan.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has clarified that Jet Airways currently has a fleet of 28 aircraft, though it did not specify the type of aircraft and the number of weekly flights that the airline operates on domestic and international routes. Sources indicated that Jet has 14 widebody, seven ATR and seven Boeing aircraft in its fleet.
The DGCA had to clarify the status of Jet Airways’ fleet as earlier in the day news agencies quoted PS Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation, as saying that Jet had a fleet of less than 15 aircraft.
With a fleet of 15 aircraft, Jet ran the risk of not being allowed to fly on international routes because current Indian laws stipulate that an Indian carrier must have a minimum fleet of 20 aircraft to be allowed to operate abroad.
The confusion arose as the airline had told the Bombay Stock Exchange on Tuesday that 15 more of its aircraft had been grounded due to non-payment of lease rentals.
An airline spokesperson later clarified that the 15 aircraft had already been accounted for and that the stock exchange was only informed about it on Tuesday night.
‘No help from govt’
Meanwhile, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday ruled out any interference in efforts to help Jet Airways, saying the government should not be seen to be doing any kind of deals to help an airline.
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