Singapore/New Delhi: Crisis talks between India’s cash-strapped Jet Airways Ltd and aircraft lessors have failed to ease a row over late payments, prompting some lessors to explore taking back aircraft, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
In what one of the people described as an ill-tempered showdown between the airline and some of the world’s leading leasing firms, Jet’s main lender State Bank of India sought to provide reassurance that India’s biggest full-service carrier is doing all it can to pay its staff, suppliers and creditors.
“Jet has been delinquent for many months. Nobody wants to get in a situation where the problems worsen and it becomes even more difficult to take out aircraft,” one of the people said.
Jet controls over a sixth of a market experiencing an unprecedented boom in air travel. Yet high fuel taxes, a weak rupee and price competition have squeezed profitability, leaving Jet with 80.52 billion rupees ($1.14 billion) in net debt as at the end of September and defaulting on payments.
11/01/19 Anshuman Daga/Aditi Shah/Reuters