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Business News/ Companies / News/  Jalan-Kalrock blocking sale of grounded Jet aircraft: Ace Aviation to NCLAT
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Jalan-Kalrock blocking sale of grounded Jet aircraft: Ace Aviation to NCLAT

The petitioner requested the court to issue a notice to Jalan Kalrock, but it refused, saying it wanted to settle the ownership case between the creditors and JKC by the end of August.

Jet Airways stopped flying in April 2019 after running into financial difficulties.. AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAINPremium
Jet Airways stopped flying in April 2019 after running into financial difficulties.. AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAIN

New Delhi: Malta's Ace Aviation, a potential buyer for grounded Jet Airways' aircraft, on Thursday informed the National Company Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) that lenders of the grounded carrier are prepared to sell the planes, but the successful resolution appellant, Jalan Kalrock Consortium (JKC), is hindering the sale.

According to the lawyer representing Ace Aviation, the JKC, in the resolution plan, stated it had no interest to hold back the grounded aircraft. The lawyer also informed the court that they have already released 50 crore and brought the remaining 350 crore out of the total 400 crore for the aircraft purchase. He also pleaded that the asset's valuation of the parked aircraft is declining due to the ongoing deadlock between the lenders and consortium.

The petitioner requested the court to issue a notice to Jalan Kalrock, but it refused, saying it wanted to settle the ownership case between the creditors and JKC by the end of August. 

The tribunal will hear the matter next on 6 September.

Ace Aviation approached the NCLAT after its plea seeking permission for the purchase of aircraft was rejected by the NCLT Mumbai bench back in July. The NCLT in its order stated that either allowing the sale of the aircraft or restraining the sale would lead to the reopening of the duly approved resolution plan. Since the sale process was kept in abeyance by the lenders and the monitoring committee, it is their responsibility to clear the deadlock as it has arisen post the approval of the resolution plan.

The company's letter of intent for the purchase of the grounded Jet Airways aircraft was approved by the CoC, but it was put on hold due to the legal tussle between the Jalan Kalarock Consortium and creditors.

Meanwhile, the CoC challenged the transfer of ownership to the Jalan Karlock Consortium. The CoC stated on 7 August in NCLAT that it has asked the JKC to pay the amount of 350 crore before August 31st, and it may not proceed with the appeal if the amount is not paid to fulfill the condition precedent.

On July 5, the CoC took the matter to the Supreme Court and stated before the top court before that it might be more prudent to wind up the airline, given that not a single penny has been repaid to them, and no funds have been injected into the debt-laden airline; lenders themselves have infused approximately 400 crore of public money into the airline, which includes settling airport dues.

The NCLAT in January allowed the transfer of ownership of Jet Airways to winning bidder Jalan-Kalrock consortium.

According to the January order by the Mumbai bench of the tribunal, the effective date of the resolution plan has been taken as 16 November. As a result, the consortium will get six months from the said date to make payments to lenders.

On 22 June 2021, the NCLT in its order approved the resolution plan submitted by the Jalan-Kalrock consortium subject to necessary approvals. The consortium comprises UAE-based non-resident Indian Murari Lal Jalan, who will hold shares in Jet Airways in his personal capacity, and Florian Fritsch who will hold shares through his investment holding company Kalrock Capital Partners Ltd, Cayman.

Jet Airways stopped flying in April 2019 after running into financial difficulties. However, ownership transfer has been hanging fire amid continuing differences between the lenders and the consortium.

Before the suspension of its operations in April 2019, Jet Airways flew to more than 65 domestic as well as international destinations , with a fleet of 124 narrow and wide-body aircraft.

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Updated: 10 Aug 2023, 04:42 PM IST
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