July 04 2020
‘Jet’s lenders gave paltry sums in instalments’
26 April 2019

‘Airline needed ₹1,500 crore at one go’

Days before announcing ‘temporary’ suspension of flight operations on April 17, 2019, the Jet Airways management literally begged for funds before banks to sustain the airline’s operations and pay salaries, but money was only trickling, it has now emerged.

The lenders only advanced a paltry amount in instalments of a few crores when the airline actually needed ₹1,500 crore at one go, leading to the complete grounding of the fleet, said a senior Jet Airways official who was part of the negotiating team with the lenders. With promoter Naresh Goyal having resigned and all sources drying up, the management had no other option but to rush to the banks to augment funding to keep the operations going.

“Despite promising to advance ₹1,500 crore as interim funding, the lenders gave only a handful amount of money in instalments when we needed money badly. Sometimes we got ₹7 crore and sometimes ₹12 crore. This much money was insufficient to run the airline,” said the official, asking not to be named.

“The whole house was under fire. The lenders only gave us a bucket full of water, time to time, to douse the fire, when we actually needed a tanker. Then we could have sailed through on our own and this situation would not have arrived,” the official said. “We were sure that the promised money could have sustained us till June by the time a new owner could come on board,” said another official.

The lenders may have had some valid reason to stay away, but at that time the airline had no other option, the official added.



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