The Kalrock Capital-Murari Lal Jalan consortium has won the bid for Jet Airways, giving the airline a second lease of life that often looked unlikely since it was grounded since April 2019.
The consortium has got the majority of the votes polled by lenders. Confirming the development, Manoj Madnani, Board Member of Kalrock Capital, told Moneycontrol:
“I want to thank the CoC and the RP for managing the insolvency process. We look forward to engaging with the Jet Airways stakeholders, and bringing back the glory and legacy of the airline.”
While it’s not clear yet how many votes the combine got from lenders, it needed at least 66 percent to go past the finish line. The resolution professional, added sources, is expected to make an announcement later in the day on October 17.
Once the announcement is made, the resolution professional will submit the winning plan to the National Company Law Tribunal, which will have to then give the approval for the new owners to take over at the airline.
The Kalrock-Murari combine had faced off with the consortium of FSTC, Big Charter and Imperial Capital.
A revival during COVID-19 times
The revival of Jet Airways happens at a time when airlines across the aviation sector are struggling to keep flying. Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, several airlines filed for bankruptcy and the biggest of the carriers were forced to ground their fleet, and fire employees.
Of late, the sector is beginning to recover some of the lost ground. In India, traffic is still nowhere close to the 2019-levels, but it has picked up month-on-month. In many ways, the circumstances could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the new owners.
While aircraft leasing rates have come down and fuel prices are cheaper, getting key manpower like pilots and engineers will be easier, that too at lower costs.
The Kalrock-Jalan bid is said to have offered a payout of Rs 850 crore to the lenders, led by State Bank of India, and also includes equity in the airline to the banks. On the other hand, the FSTC-Imperial consortium offer was a little less than Rs 800 crore.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.