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Business News/ Companies / News/  Jet Airways aircraft sale: Ace Aviation urges NCLAT to hear case in two weeks
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Jet Airways aircraft sale: Ace Aviation urges NCLAT to hear case in two weeks

The request came after the NCLT Mumbai bench on 30 August reserved the final order on the sale of Jet Airways' aircraft

Ace Aviation had initially moved the NCLAT against an interim order passed by the Mumbai NCLT in July, rejecting its plea to purchase the aircraft. . AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAINPremium
Ace Aviation had initially moved the NCLAT against an interim order passed by the Mumbai NCLT in July, rejecting its plea to purchase the aircraft. . AFP PHOTO/Sajjad HUSSAIN

New Delhi: Malta-based Ace Aviation, a potential buyer of grounded Jet Airways aircraft, has requested the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) to hear its appeal against an order by the Mumbai bench of the NCLT in two weeks.

The NCLT bench on 30 August reserved the final order on the sale of the grounded carrier's aircraft. The bench is likely to pass a final order in the coming days.

The appellate tribunal, while deferring the matter, noted that Ace Aviation can withdraw its appeal if the NCLT delivers a favourable judgement. The tribunal is scheduled to hear the matter next on 27 September.

Ace Aviation had initially moved the NCLAT against an interim order passed by the Mumbai NCLT in July, rejecting its plea to purchase the aircraft. The NCLT had said that either allowing or restraining the sale of the aircraft would lead to a reopening of the approved resolution plan.

In a previous hearing on 10 August, the NCLAT expressed a desire to settle the matter of pending dues between the lenders and the Jalan-Kalrock consortium before deciding on Ace Aviation's request. The NCLAT also mentioned that it cannot force the monitoring committee to sell the aircraft.

During the hearing, senior lawyer Ritin Rai, representing Ace Aviation, reiterated that the successful bidder for the insolvent airline, Jalan-Kalrock Consortium, had stated in the resolution plan that they were not interested in keeping the aircraft and that it could be put up for sale.

Rai also pointed out that Ace Aviation had received a letter of intent as the successful bidder but the seven-member committee – consisting of three members from JKC, three lenders, and one resolution professional — had stalled the purchase process.

Rai informed the court that Ace Aviation had already released 50 crore and had brought the remaining 350 crore of the total 400 crore for the aircraft purchase.

In previous proceedings, Ace Aviation had argued that the asset valuation of the parked aircraft was declining due to the ongoing deadlock between the lenders and the consortium.

In a related matter of JKC versus lenders led by State Bank of India, the NCLAT had on 28 August provided a lifeline to Jet Airways by granting the successful bidder time till 30 September to clear dues worth 350 crore.

Within 48 hours of the order, JKC announced that they had released the first instalment of 100 crore to lenders. According to the payment schedule approved by the NCLAT, JKC was required to pay 200 crore to lenders by 30 August, with the remaining 150 crore to be encashed from the performance guarantee. While lenders did not oppose the extension of time, they objected to the encashing of the bank guarantee.

Additionally, JKC filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to safeguard its interests in the event of lenders moving the top court against the NCLAT's interim ruling. The next hearing in the NCLAT for this case is expected to take place on 4 October.

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Updated: 06 Sep 2023, 06:36 PM IST
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