Home / Companies / News /  Procedural delays are hampering Jet Airway’s revival plans

NEW DELHI : A delay in regulatory approvals has emerged as a major challenge to the planned revival of Jet Airways Ltd, under its new promoters, a consortium of UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan and UK-based Kalrock Capital.

As things stand, the airline’s air operator’s permit (AOP), which is required to start commercial operations, is yet to be revalidated.

The exit of a few key executives in charge of the revival plans in the past few months has only added to the challenges faced by the airline, which has been grounded since April 2019.

“There are jitters in the market about the revival of Jet Airways under the Jalan-Kalrock consortium. It’s been six months already since the NCLT (National Company Law Tribunal) approval, and the airline doesn’t even have basic requirements, like the AOP or fleet plan, in place," said a senior industry executive, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“In comparison, the Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-backed Akasa Air, which has got a no-objection certificate and aircraft order in place, is likely to enter the market before Jet Airways," the executive added.

Meanwhile, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium will have to infuse funds within six months from the ‘effective date’ of fulfilling all the conditions as stated in the resolution plan approved by the insolvency court last June, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

In this case, the ‘effective date’ is 270 days from 22 June 2021, when the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) approved the insolvency resolution plan submitted by Kalrock Capital and Jalan, said this person, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

Upon reaching the ‘effective date’, the consortium will have up to 180 days to pay creditors as per the insolvency plan, the person added.

“In the unlikely event that the conditions precedent(s) are not complied within this period, SRA (successful resolution applicant) would require a maximum of 180 days more to fulfil the conditions. Failing which, the resolution plan would stand automatically withdrawn without any further act, deed or thing," according to the resolution plan, a copy of which has been reviewed by Mint.

Jet Airways, which founder Naresh Goyal led for more than 25 years, was grounded on 17 April 2019 after it ran out of cash.

In June 2021, NCLT approved the resolution plan submitted by the Jalan-Kalrock consortium.

The consortium has proposed to pay 1,183 crore to creditors over five years from the proceeds of the sale of assets and cash flow.

Last month, the Jalan-Kalrock consortium said that the airline plans to restart operations at the earliest with six narrow-body planes this year, after the revalidation of its air operator permit.

To be sure, the new promoters of Jet Airways have made several periodic announcements since last June about restarting the airline but are yet to bring in funds.

Murari Lal Jalan didn’t respond to email queries.

A spokesperson for State Bank of India, one of the banks with the largest exposure to the airline, didn’t respond to emails.

However, a member of the airline’s monitoring committee, which oversees its day-to-day operations and management, told Mint that stakeholders are optimistic about the carrier’s revival despite the delay.

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