Jet Airways defers delivery of six Boeing aircraft

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New Delhi | Published: January 17, 2019 4:39:47 AM

jet airways, sbi, boeingJet Airways said State Bank of India (SBI) along with other lenders and stakeholders is working on a comprehensive resolution plan to turnaround the airline.

Jet Airways has deferred deliveries of six Boeing 737 max aircraft due to non-payment to its lessors, sources in the airline said on Wednesday.

The full-service carrier had placed an order for 75 Boeing 737 max aircraft in July last year in addition to its earlier order of 150 Boeing 737 max aircraft. Jet Airways follows a sale and leaseback model under which lessor purchases the aircraft and leases it to the airlines.

The Naresh Goyal-led airline has received five aircraft from that order, so far. During the post earnings call, Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube had said the airline would get a total of 11 Boeing 737 max by FY19.

“That is not happening with the current situation. Boeing has made the deliveries but they are stuck due to non-payment to lessors,” the source said. The airline could not be reached immediately for comments. Jet Airways has been grappling with financial woes and even defaulted on loan repayment to a consortium of Indian banks.

Meanwhile, the government said on Wednesday that it is waiting for a resolution plan from Jet Airways. Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said the ministry is aware about the discussions between Jet Airways, its equity partner Etihad Airways and lending banks but ruled out a helping hand to the carrier for staying afloat.

According to reports, Etihad has sought permission from Sebi on preferential pricing and open offer guidelines in order to invest more in the Mumbai-based carrier.

“We are aware that the airline and its lenders are in discussions. No one has approached us for an exemption from any regulatory authority. If there is any exemption to be sought that should be between the airline and that agency, and civil aviation ministry has no role to play,” Choubey told reporters.

“They have to agree on a resolution plan, only after that they can approach RBI, Sebi, the government and others,” he added. Etihad currently holds 24% stake in Jet Airways and can increase it up to 49% as per the FDI rules.

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Jet Airways said State Bank of India (SBI) along with other lenders and stakeholders is working on a comprehensive resolution plan to turnaround the airline. According to rating agency Icra, the airline has large debt repayments of Rs 1,700 crore in FY19.

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