Mumbai. Two years after Jet Airways went bankrupt, the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday approved the insolvency resolution plan of the Jalan-Kalrock tie-up for the airline. The resolution professional expects the airline company to fly again by the end of this year. Though the written order is yet to be passed, the tribunal made it clear that it will not give any direction on the issue of slots for the airline and the matter will be looked into by the government or the appropriate authority.
The Jalan-Kolrock alliance has said it will take further steps after reading the order, while the resolution professional expects Jet Airways to be back on the wing by the end of this year once the issue of flight schedules etc. is settled. . Jet Airways was going through the resolution process under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) for two years.
Solutions Professional Ashish Chhawchharia is managing its operations. The airline, which has been in service for more than two decades, had suspended operations in April 2019 due to financial stress. The NCLT had in June 2019 admitted the insolvency petition filed by the State Bank of India-led consortium of lenders against Jet Airways.
The group had filed a petition seeking recovery of outstanding loans of over Rs 8,000 crore. The Mumbai bench of the NCLT, headed by Mohd Ajmal and V Nallasenapati, approved the insolvency resolution plan for Jet Airways which will have to be implemented within 90 days from June 22. The bench, in its oral order, said that if there is a need to extend the date of coming into force of the scheme, the applicant of the resolution plan (Jalan Kalrock Alliance) can again approach the tribunal.
The Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Jet Airways had in October 2020 approved the resolution plan submitted by a consortium of UK-based ColRock Capital and UAE-based entrepreneur Murari Lal Jalan. Terming the NCLT’s approval as one of the biggest turnaround developments for the troubled aviation sector, Chhawchharia expressed hope that if all goes well, the airline will resume flights by the end of the year.
Shares of Jet Airways rose five per cent to the upper limit of 99.45 on both BSE and NSE stock exchanges. The airline’s shares were valued by more than half since the suspension of operations in April 2019. The Jalan Colorrock alliance has said that it will decide its next course of action after reading the written order of the NCLT. The alliance said in a statement that the journey so far has been “highly challenging but satisfying”.
According to the statement, the alliance reiterated its willingness to work with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and all its competitors to restart Jet airline’s flights.
The NCLT in its order on Tuesday also said that it is not giving any direction regarding the historical reliability of slot (time in the flight schedule) allocations and the issue will be looked into by the government or the appropriate authority concerned. The slots will be crucial for the airline to resume operations.
The slots available with Jet Airways have been allotted to other airlines before the suspension of operations in April, 2019. Starting operations as an air taxi service provider on May 5, 1993, Jet Airways became a scheduled airline in 1995. The company started air taxi service with four Boeing 737-300 aircraft on lease. Jet Airways made its first international flight from Chennai to Colombo in March 2004. (agency)