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Photo: Mint

Jet to sell for a song

Whether Jet can be revived at this stage isn’t too clear. Most of its aircraft were repossessed by lessors and its airport landing slots were taken over by competitors after it ceased operations in April 2019. But it’s important that an all-out effort be made

Some 19 months after it was grounded, hope finally seems to have emerged for Jet Airways to take to the skies again. The bust airline’s committee of creditors approved a revival plan submitted jointly by London’s Kalrock Capital and UAE-based businessman Murari Lal Jalan. Details of the deal are still under wraps, but reports suggest they will get the business for a song, with very little money to be put in, the bulk of its debt written off, and a portion of the burden converted to equity that would give lenders a small stake in it.

But then, Jet’s creditors may be in no position to ask for anything better. Even pre-covid attempts at finding buyers had failed, and aviation has taken a hard knock since the pandemic struck, throwing into jeopardy the future of another one-time No. 1 carrier, Air India, which has languished on the block for even longer. Whether Jet can be revived at this stage isn’t too clear. Most of its aircraft were repossessed by lessors and its airport landing slots were taken over by competitors after it ceased operations in April 2019. But it’s important that an all-out effort be made. Licensed-supply markets must not see levels of competition reduce.

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