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Jet Airways Extends International Suspension

Jet Airways plans to extend its suspension of international flights until Thursday having not received any interim funding from lenders, the company said in a letter to employees.

Reuters quoted a staff letter sent by Chief Executive Vinay Dube, stating, “The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, and as a result of this we have extended cancellation of international operations through Thursday, April, 19.”

Dube said management would update the airline’s board on the matter and would seek guidance on the next steps forward. With immediate funding proving tough, the Jet board will meet on Tuesday morning to consider all options — including a temporary shutdown.

A senior banker said that PNB, ICICI and Yes Bank objected to any release of emergency money, although others such as State Bank of India, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Syndicate Bank did not have a problem. “So, there is no funding as of now,” added Dube. He said that it would be near-impossible for Jet to continue operations without urgent cash.
The delay in releasing funds has left the distressed airline perilously close to total stoppage of operations.

Jet’s lenders will also select by Tuesday the qualified bidders from the companies that have expressed interest in investing in it. They will be given time till May 10 to submit binding bids, said a banker, as they need three weeks to prepare a bid. The date, according to the latest announcement from SBI Capital Markets was April 30. SBI Caps is overseeing the implementation of the resolution plan and running the bidding process.

Thousands of passengers have been stranded due to the firm’s lack of funds. Jet now has debts of more than $1.2bn (£900m).

The airline was flying 600 domestic and 380 international routes.

Pilots, engineers, and ground staff, who have not been paid since December, have said they will strike if the banks do not inject emergency funds.

They had planned to strike from Monday, but storiesponed the action until after the bankers’ meeting.

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