Jet Airways may have been out of the news for a while, but the saga continues on. The airline’s creditors are currently in the process of shortlisting potential bidders to take over the airline, for the fourth time. There’s also some good news for those holding out on a refund from their Jet Airways tickets, with IATA stepping in to help.
The final round on bidding
Jet Airways may have shut down last April, but the airline’s creditors have been on the lookout for a new owner since then. The airline has already held three rounds of bidding, with the fourth, and likely final, one now in progress.
Jet Airways has received 12 Expressions of Interest (EoIs) during this round of bidding, with bidders ranging from paper airlines to a Jet Airways employee consortium. This list has been narrowed down to four potential bidders by creditors.
According to sources, the four bidders are a UK-based financial firm Kalrock Capital (bidding along with Dubai-based Murari Lal Jalan), Candian entrepreneur Siva Rasiah, Alpha Airways, and a consortium of three companies.
Although many firms have applied, this might be the weakest round of bidding Jet Airways has seen. The shortlisted firms are not very prominent and may struggle with Jet’s over $1bn in debt. It is possible, which has happened before, that no bidders actually submit a Resolution Plan, the next required step, after better studying Jet Airways’ financials.
Relief for ticket holders
Jet Airways’ collapse meant that thousands were left holding tickets for canceled flights. The airline’s bankrupt state meant there was little hope for many to get their money back. However, this week, IATA has stepped to help with refunds.
IATA has said it will provide partial refunds to those holding tickets using Jet Airways’ security deposit with the body. However, considering the number of tickets this amount will be extremely low since the deposit is not large enough to cover all refunds. Estimates are that travel agents will receive 8% of the total ticket value.
It is unclear what amount travelers will actually receive from travel agents. Sadly, 8% is a meager amount and travelers were hoping for much more. However, since most had already given up hope of ever seeing their money again, this might a small relief.
Saga coming to end soon?
We’ve predicted that Jet Airways might finally liquidate and shut down for good multiple times before. However, with this year’s health crisis and dwindling interest in the airline, the Jet Airways saga may actually finish.
Creditors are avoiding liquidation desperately for good reason, Jet Airways has very few assets left. The airline has 12 aircraft left in its fleet, part of which it recently offered for repatriation, and the status over its slots is unclear. Liquidating the airline would mean that creditors only receive a fraction of their investment back.
It seems that this may be the end of Jet Airways, especially since the more lucrative Air India is struggling for bids too. Barring a last-minute miracle, it is doubtful that will see the carrier back in the skies once again.
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